Indonesia suspends dive search for crash jet’s cockpit recorder

JAKARTA – Indonesia on Wednesday temporarily suspended divers for a Srivijay Vayu cockpit voice recorder that crashed with 62 people shortly after takeoff.

Officials said the search was halted in the Java Sea due to inclement weather, with elevations up to 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) high.

Earlier, on Wednesday, divers retrieved the wreckage and a damaged identification card of one of the victims, naval officer Abdul Rasid told reporters aboard the Indonesian Navy ship Rigel.

Relatives of the passengers of the missing Srivijaya Air Flight were waiting at Supadio Airport on Indonesia’s island of Borneo on Saturday.Louis Anderson / AFP – Getty Images

The divers recovered the flight data recorder (FDR) of the aircraft from Seabed on Tuesday and officials said they too had found the beacon that was attached to the cockpit voice recorder (CVR).

Abdul said on Wednesday that submerged underwater vehicles (ROVs) would be stationed at sea to be deployed, adding that the search was made more complicated because after the separation of beacons from CVR No ping was being emitted anymore.

“We have an ROV that will confirm the location again and tomorrow we’ll re-sink and comb that location,” he said.

Military chief Hadi Tzhajanto said on Tuesday that he had “high confidence” to find the recorder soon.

The Boeing 737-500 jet crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday, four minutes after takeoff from Jakarta’s main airport.

Investigators would rely too heavily on two black boxes to determine the cause of the crash.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) hopes to download FDR data within two to five days.

According to the final report on a similar model of the Boeing 737 that crashed in 2008, the FDR contains about 25 hours of data on eight tracks and 30 minutes of talk in the CVR.

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A team from the US National Transportation Safety Board will travel to Jakarta in the coming days to help with the investigation.

Initial findings from KNKT suggest that the aircraft’s engine was running colliding with water, based on the damage seen on the parts of the jet derived from the ocean.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Transport said on Tuesday that the aircraft, which was on the ground during the early months of the coronovirus epidemic, underwent an aircraft inspection on 14 December and returned to service shortly after.

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