Indonesian divers yesterday found a black box from the Lion Air plane that crashed on Monday, which could be key to unravelling what caused the mishap.
The flight data recorder, recovered in waters off Tanjung Karawang, will be handed over to Indonesia’s transportation safety committee. At press time, the other black box, a cockpit voice recorder, has yet to be found.
The head of Indonesia’s national transport safety committee was reported to have said that it could take up to three weeks to download data from the black boxes and up to six months to analyse it.
Flight JT610, heading for Pangkal Pinang, lost contact with ground staff 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta on Monday.
Flight tracking data available online show what’s been described as “erratic speed and altitude changes” in the minutes prior. However, safety experts cautioned that the data must be checked for accuracy against the plane’s black boxes.
Technical faults on the aircraft were reported a day before the crash, but airline spokespersons said it was cleared to fly on Monday “according to procedure”.
Passengers on the earlier flight from Bali described similar loss in altitude, likening the experience to being “in a roller coaster” as well as what seemed like engine problems before takeoff.