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Black box from crashed Lion Air jet found

Black box from crashed Lion Air jet found

A Lion Air plane crashed into the sea just minutes after taking off from Indonesia's capital on Monday, likely killing all 189 people on board, in a blow to the country's aviation safety record after the lifting of bans on its airlines by the European Union and U.S.

National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) deputy chief Haryo Satmiko told reporters on Tuesday there were technical problems on the flight, including unreliable airspeed readings.

The shattering of the device, which is built to withstand high-impact crashes, shows how violently the 737 Max jet plunged and broke into pieces.

Divers plucked the orange data recorder from the ocean and placing it in a plastic tub as search teams continued to scour the seabed for the fuselage of the Boeing-737 MAX 8, which crashed off Indonesia's northern coast on Monday and had only been in service a few months.

No distress signal was received from the aircraft's emergency transmitter, search and rescue agency head Muhmmad Syaugi told a news conference.

The sea is only 30 m deep at the crash site but strong currents and nearby energy pipelines have hampered the search for the aircraft operated by the budget carrier.

The pilot of flight JT610, which was bound for Pangkal Pinang in the Bangka-Belitung tin-mining region, had asked to return to base (RTB) shortly after takeoff.

Downloading the data on flight recorders can take as little as two hours but analysing it can take weeks. "The official must concentrate on the examination, it has a legal basis, this is the result of my meeting with all directors and the Director General of Air Transportation", he said at the Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta, Wednesday, October 31.

Hopes are fading of finding a large section of fuselage intact, with easily retrievable bodies inside.

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Authorities are sending recovered remains to hospital for DNA comparison to passengers' relatives.

Indonesian transport minister Budi Karya has ordered Lion Air and Garuda, another local airline, to inspect all Boeing 737 Max 8 models.

Privately owned Lion Air, founded in 1999, said the aircraft had been in operation since August and was airworthy.

The suspended technicians "issued the recommendations for that (final) flight", the ministry said in a press release.

The accident worsens in any case, the reputation of insecurity in the aviation sector of indonesia which is growing rapidly. Its transportation safety committee investigated 137 serious aviation incidents from 2012 to 2017.

On the day prior to the deadly crash, the same plane had technical problems just 5 minutes after take-off, causing the pilot to put out an urgent call just one level below Mayday, requesting to return to the airport.

Lion Air chief executive Edward Sirait has acknowledged reports of technical problems with the aircraft, but said maintenance had been carried out "according to procedure" before it was cleared for flight again.

Two passengers on the flight said there were issues with the air-conditioning system on the plane and the cabin lighting before the flight left for Jakarta three hours behind schedule.

Its contents may help explain why the almost brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down.


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