Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Divers recover jet's flight recorder on Indonesia sea floor

Divers recover jet's flight recorder on Indonesia sea floor

The Lion Air aircraft that crashed in the Java Sea off Jakarta on Monday, with all 189 people on board now feared dead, had reported a flight control problem two minutes after takeoff, according to Indonesian authorities.

But he said an "orange object" had been found.

There is no ban or suspension of Lion Air flight operations in Malaysia following a crash involving the airline's aircraft in Indonesia on Monday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said.

The search and rescue agency all but ruled out finding any survivors late Monday, citing the discovery of body parts that suggested a high-impact crash in water some 30-40 metres deep off the coast of Indonesia's Java island.

It could take up to three weeks to download data from the black boxes and up to six months to analyze it, Soerjanto Tjahjono, the head of a national transport safety committee (KNKT), said on Wednesday.

"We can not say how long it takes to process data in a black box, but of course we will try as soon as possible". Finding the main body of the aircraft, including the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, would be a significant development for investigators, who are working to determine what caused the nearly new Boeing jet to crash in good weather about 13 minutes after it took off.

Budi Karya Sumadi added that President Joko Widodo had ordered a review of all flight safety regulations after this week's crash of a jet operated by budget carrier Lion Air with 189 aboard.

Founded in 1999, Lion Air is Indonesia's largest low-priced airline and has had half a dozen non-fatal accidents and one fatal accident, which occurred in 2004 in the city of Solo, leaving 25 people dead.

Lion Air's chief executive Edward Sirait said on Tuesday that the plane had been repaired before taking off again.

There were reports the pilot asked to turn back shortly after take-off and flight tracking websites also recorded erratic speed and altitude readings.

It took off at 6.20am local time and lost contact at 6.33am (11.33pm GMT).

Syaugi, however, said strong underwater currents hampered the efforts to find the fuselage of the plane which was believed to be nearby.

Indonesia's disaster agency posted photos online of a crushed smartphone, books, bags and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been collected by search and rescue vessels that have converged on the area.

Boeing experts were due to arrive in Indonesia yesterday and Lion Air has said an "intense" internal investigation was under way in addition to the probe by safety regulators. The country's airlines have previously been banned from operating in the United States and European Union.

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