Lion Air crash black box reportedly found

UPDATE: EXPERTS may finally have the answer behind what happened to crashed Lion Air flight JT610.

The black box from the doomed plane that crashed into the Java Sea has been found and retrieved by a Navy diver, according to the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency.

The search team used a so-called "ping detector" to detect signals from the black box, and used a remotely operated underwater vehicle to retrieve it.

According to The Jakarta Post, this was the coordinate where the black box was believed to be found.

The orange device is believed to house the flight data and cockpit voice recorder, meaning it could provide crucial answers as to what led to the plane tragedy.

Kompas TV journalist Iryanda Mardanuz said the box had been placed in a white plastic container when it was finally brought to the surface.

Several theories have been aired as to what caused the aircraft carrying 189 people to crash, but aviation experts said we wouldn't have a definitive answer on what caused the crash until the black box was recovered.

"It is almost impossible to say just what happened," Mr Rosenschein told CNN earlier this week. "At this point, some sort of mechanical failure is probably the most likely, but this is purely speculative."

The aviation expert said until the black box was found, it would remain unlikely authorities could figure out what brought down the plane.

He noted it was especially important to find the black box quickly because the doomed plane was a newer model.

"What happened here could possibly affect the same model of aircraft flying in other parts of the world," he said.

Earlier reports of the fuselage being found have now proven to be false.

Searchers have confirmed that a 20-metre-long object turned out to be a shipwreck.


INDONESIA has ordered an inspection of all Boeing 737-MAX planes after a Lion Air jet plunged into the sea with 189 people aboard, but authorities stopped short of grounding the new model.

"I have instructed airlines to conduct an inspection of all Boeing 737-MAX (planes)," said transport minister Budi Karya Sumadi.

An aviation expert told CNN it was important that the black box is fund quickly because the doomed plane was a newer model.

Rescuers inspect parts of the crashed Lion Air plane during a search operation in the waters of Tanjung Karawang. Picture:AP
Rescuers inspect parts of the crashed Lion Air plane during a search operation in the waters of Tanjung Karawang. Picture:AP

"It is almost impossible to say just what happened," Alastair Rosenschein told CNN.

"At this point, some sort of mechanical failure is probably the most likely, but this is purely speculative."

"What happened here could possibly affect the same model of aircraft flying in other parts of the world," he said.

Staff remove a body bag containing the remains of a victim of the crashed Lion Air plane. Picture: AP
Staff remove a body bag containing the remains of a victim of the crashed Lion Air plane. Picture: AP

On a Jakarta dockside, officials took up the grim task of separating human remains from plane debris and recovered personal effects, sending the body parts - including the remains of a baby - to hospital for DNA testing.

Stretched out along the dock was a growing collection of items plucked from the sea -- single shoes, torn pieces of clothing, wallets and bags scattered among aircraft seats stripped of their blue covers by the sheer impact of the crash.

Rescuers examine parts of the crashed Lion Air plane. Picture: AP
Rescuers examine parts of the crashed Lion Air plane. Picture: AP

 

A family member  cries at the police hospital in Jakarta. Picture: AP
A family member cries at the police hospital in Jakarta. Picture: AP

The Boeing-737 MAX, which went into service just a few months ago, crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia's northern coast moments after it had asked to return to Jakarta on Monday.

Flight JT610 sped up as it suddenly lost altitude and then vanished from radar 12 minutes after take-off, with witnesses saying the single-aisle jet plunged into the water.

The accident has resurrected concerns about Indonesia's patchy air safety record which led to a now-lifted ban on its planes entering US and European airspace.

Rescuers conduct the  search operation. Picture: AP
Rescuers conduct the search operation. Picture: AP

Dozens of divers were taking part in the recovery effort along with helicopters and ships.

Authorities are trying to pinpoint the smashed jet's location and flight data recorders expected to be crucial to the crash investigation.

There were 178 adult passengers, one child, two infants, two pilots and six cabin crew on board.

GRIEVING RELATIVES HAVE LOST EVERYTHING

Scores of relatives thronged a hospital building being used for victim identification.

"My daughter has no husband, my grandchild no longer has a father," a grieving Hari Setiyono said at the police hospital, referring to his missing son-in-law.

Febby Mellysa had four relatives aboard the doomed jet, including her cousin, his wife and their five-year-old son.

A shoe and parts of the crashed Lion Air plane are among debris retrieved. Picture: AP
A shoe and parts of the crashed Lion Air plane are among debris retrieved. Picture: AP

"We tried to call my cousin and his wife so many times, but their phone wasn't active," she told AFP.

"The whole family is confused about what to do next." Indonesia's search and rescue agency has all but ruled out finding any survivors from the high-impact crash in water some 30-40 metres deep.

"We are prioritising finding the main wreckage of the plane using five war ships equipped with sonar to detect metal underwater," said Yusuf Latif, spokesman of the Indonesian search and rescue agency.

 

PILOT'S HISTORY EXAMINED

The plane was en route to Pangkal Pinang city, a jumping off point for beach-and-sun seeking tourists on nearby Belitung island, when it dropped out of contact around 6:30am (2330 GMT).

The pilot and co-pilot had more than 11,000 hours flying time between them and had undergone recent medical check-ups and drug testing, the carrier said.

Aviation analysts said it was too early to determine what caused the accident. But they said investigators would look at everything from catastrophic mechanical failure and pilot error to weather conditions or unusual cockpit activity that could point to a hijacking or pilot suicide.

On Monday, Lion Air acknowledged the plane had an unspecified technical issue fixed in Bali before it was flown back to Jakarta, calling it "normal procedure".

Data from that flight suggested the plane may have flown erratically and a technical log circulating on social media pointed to different speed and altitude readings on the captain and first officer's instruments.

"It is not clear whether the problem was really resolved since the doomed flight was the first departure after the problem was supposedly fixed," Fan said.

Indonesian forensic team members examine parts of a plane recovered from the area where a Lion Air plane is suspected to have crashed.
Indonesian forensic team members examine parts of a plane recovered from the area where a Lion Air plane is suspected to have crashed.

On its last flight, the jet was travelling at a much faster speed than would be expected, but the pilot did not declare an emergency or attempt a water landing.

"That might mean the plane was out of control," said aviation analyst Dudi Sudibyo.

Boeing suspended release of the fuel-efficient 737 MAX just days before its first commercial delivery last year due to an issue with engines.

Lion Air, Indonesia's biggest budget airline which has been engaged in huge expansion, announced earlier this year it was buying 50 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets for $6.24 billion.

 

TRAGIC FINAL SELFIE

Minutes before the doomed Lion Air flight crashed into the ocean, a newlywed man was messaging his wife, and even sent her a selfie.

Deryl Fida Febrianto, 22, had been married to his wife, Lutfinani Eka Putri for less than two months, and he was on his way to start his job as a cruise ship worker.

 

Deryl Fida Febrianto sent a photo to his wife minutes before the crash. Picture: Facebool
Deryl Fida Febrianto sent a photo to his wife minutes before the crash. Picture: Facebool

 

Ms Putri's childhood sweetheart sent the photo at 6.01am, wearing a green medical mask and staring into the camera. The two were lovingly texting while he was on the plane.

The pair stopped messaging at 6.12am before the plane took off eight minutes later. Shortly after, Ms Putri's world was turned upside down.

"When I saw the news, I matched the flight number with the ticket photo Deryl had sent," Ms Putri told reporters.

"I immediately started crying."

 

Police officers carry a body bag containing the remains recovered from the area where a Lion Air passenger jet crashed, at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta. Picture: AP/Tatan Syuflana
Police officers carry a body bag containing the remains recovered from the area where a Lion Air passenger jet crashed, at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta. Picture: AP/Tatan Syuflana

 

Search and rescue workers sits near a body bag and personal belongings of victims of Lion Air flight JT 610. Picture: Ed Wray/Getty Images
Search and rescue workers sits near a body bag and personal belongings of victims of Lion Air flight JT 610. Picture: Ed Wray/Getty Images
Relatives numbed by grief provided samples for DNA tests to help identify victims.
Relatives numbed by grief provided samples for DNA tests to help identify victims.


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