Indonesian investigators examine black box from crashed jet

Divers In Indonesia Find Crashed Airliner's 'Black Box'

Indonesian authorities on Thursday retrieved a flight data recorder from a Lion Air jet that crashed and broke apart in shallow sea near the capital, Jakarta, this week, killing all 189 people on board.

Herson, chief of the airport authority for the Bali-Nusa Tenggara area, said that after the alert the pilot updated the control tower to say it was flying normally and he would not return to the airport after all.

"Because of the pan-pan call, we were told to hold off, circling the airport in the air", said the pilot, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. A "pan pan" indicates an urgent situation and is one step below a Mayday.

The same Boeing 737 MAX jet took off at 6:20 a.m. the next morning, bound for Bangka island, off Sumatra, and plunged into the sea 13 minutes later. Just before the crash, the pilot had made a request to return to base.

The Lion Air 737 MAX that crashed on Monday, October 29 had serious control problems the day before, similar to those seen just before the ill-fated flight crashed into the sea.

The pilot of a Lion Air flight from Indonesia's Bali island on Sunday made a radio alert minutes after takeoff because of technical problems, but they were overcome and he pushed on to Jakarta. Lion Air now possesses 11 of Boeing's one of most advanced aircraft, while National airline Garuda Indonesia has one.

It will also focus on four Lion Air staff, including its technical director, who the transport ministry said it has suspended on Wednesday, amid speculation that the aircraft had not been airworthy. It did not say how many technicians had been suspended.

The country's second-deadliest air disaster since 1997 has renewed concern about Indonesia's patchy aviation safety record.

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The investigation of the first crash of a Boeing Co 737 MAX, introduced into commercial service a year ago, will also be scrutinised by the global aviation industry.

Qomar said he believes the body of his son, Muhammad Ravi Andriyan, is still inside the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The instruments were checked by maintenance workers overnight and the plane was cleared to fly, Prihantoro said. However, planes with partially malfunctioning altitude sensors aren't allowed above 28,000 feet.

Initial reports said the plane's flight data recorder had been found but a transport safety official quoted by Reuters news agency said later it was unclear whether the damaged device was the flight data unit or the cockpit voice recorder. It will be given to the transportation safety committee of Indonesia so they can examine all of the data that is contained on it. Before the crash, the pilot requested to return to Jakarta airport after facing an unspecified issue. "The pilot double-checked to ensure that they could fly", he said.

Passengers on that flight said that the plane pitched violently and many passengers were screaming and sick.

Another passenger on JT43 described, in a talkshow broadcast by Indonesia's TVOne, a turbulent flight during which the seatbelt signs were never turned off.

One of them, Diah Mardani, told a current affairs television program earlier this week that after takeoff "the plane suddenly fell, then rose, then fell again harder and shook". "Everyone in the plane shouted Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest), Subhanallah (Glory to God)".

While it's too early to know if airspeed indicators will prove to be related to Monday's accident, the possibility underscores the need for better and more consistent pilot training, said David Greenberg, an industry consultant and former operations executive at Delta Air Lines Inc.

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