Crashed Indonesia passenger jet’s cockpit voice recorder found: ministry

Jakarta: The cockpit voice recorder from a crashed Indonesian passenger jet has been found, the country’s transport ministry said on Wednesday, more than two months after the accident that killed all 62 passengers and crew.

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Officials said a press briefing “regarding the discovery of the Cockpit Voice Recorder” from the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 would be held later Wednesday morning.

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The 26-year-old plane – previously flown by US-based Continental Airlines and United Airlines – plunged around 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) into waters off Jakarta just minutes after takeoff on January 9.

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Divers had been searching the Java Sea for the missing voice recorder – one of the plane’s two “black boxes” – which records flight crew conversations.

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A flight data recorder was earlier plucked from the wreckage-littered seabed.

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A preliminary report into the crash last month said Indonesian pilots had reported multiple problems with the ageing jet’s throttle system before the fatal crash.

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But investigators had said it was too early to pinpoint an exact cause.

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The cockpit voice recorder could provide vital clues to what the desperate crew was saying when the flight from Jakarta to Pontianak in Borneo went down.

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Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago that relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands, has suffered a string of deadly plane crashes in recent years.

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In October 2018, 189 people were killed when a Boeing 737 MAX jet from Lion Air plunged into the sea.

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That accident – and another in Ethiopia – led to the worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX over a faulty anti-stall system.

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The 737 that crashed last month was not a MAX variant.

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