Debris recovered from the crash site sits on the dockside at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photographer: Rony Zakaria/Bloomberg)

Indonesia Finds Cockpit Voice Recorder of Crashed Lion Air Jet

(Bloomberg) -- Indonesia found the cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air plane that crashed in October, giving investigators a real chance at solving the mystery of what brought down a modern jet.

The CVR of the Boeing Co. 737 Max aircraft was intact when it was recovered in the Java Sea, according to said Agung Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesian Navy’s first fleet command. The CVR, together with the flight data recorder that was found in November, are jointly known as the black box of an aircraft.

Indonesia Finds Cockpit Voice Recorder of Crashed Lion Air Jet

The crash survivable memory unit of the CVR will be taken to the National Transportation Safety Committee’s facilities for downloading the recording of the conversation and data, the agency said in a statement on Monday. It may take the investigators about three to five days to download the recording, Soerjanto Tjahjono, chairman of the committee, told reporters.

The CVR is intact even though it has some scratch marks and dents from the impact, Nugroho said. While lauding the efforts of authorities to recover the CVR, President Joko Widodo said the recording will help clarify the cause of the fatal crash.

The recordings may include conversations from the previous trip of the ill-fated jet during which the pilots experienced issues with its airspeed and altitude readings, Nurcahyo Utomo, the lead investigator told reporters. The recorder, which can hold about 2 hours of conversations, may have details of what transpired between technicians during repair and also during preparations for boarding, he said.

Lion Air’s JT610 nose-dived into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff Oct. 29, killing all 189 on board to become the country’s worst air disaster in two decades. Poor safety procedures and the inability of pilots to gain control of a malfunctioning aircraft may have contributed to the crash, according to a preliminary report by Indonesian investigators in November.

Confusing Warnings

While the report didn’t specify the cause of the tragedy, it outlined how pilots handled confusing anti-stall warnings during the last two flights of the almost brand-new 737 Max 8. It also recommended that Lion Air improve its safety culture.

In response to the report, Boeing said the 737 Max series of jets is “as safe as any airplane that has ever flown.”

Indonesia Finds Cockpit Voice Recorder of Crashed Lion Air Jet

Lion Air’s co-founder, Rusdi Kirana, threatened in December to scrap aircraft orders from Boeing, saying he felt betrayed by the manufacturer’s reply. Lion Air is the third-largest buyer of the updated single-aisle plane from Boeing, behind Southwest Airlines and Flydubai.

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