Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Passengers’ belongings among debris recovered after Lion Air crash

Divers In Indonesia Find Crashed Airliner's 'Black Box' Search ‘finds fuselage’ of crashed Jakarta jet in sea
Charlie Simmons | 04 November, 2018, 07:12

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.

"The Lion plane requested to return back to Bali five minutes after take-off, but then the pilot said the problem had been resolved and he was going to go ahead to Jakarta", said the pilot of another plane who said he listened in to a radio conversation between the Lion Air pilot and air-traffic controllers. A "pan pan" indicates an urgent situation and is one step below a Mayday.

The Denpasar-Jakarta flight landed at the Indonesian capital's airport at 10:55 p.m. local time on Sunday.

Thirteen minutes after takeoff on Monday morning, October 29, the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet plunged into the sea, killing all 189 people on board.

An air transport official, Novie Riyanto, said the flight was cleared to return to Jakarta after the pilot made a "return to base" request two to three minutes after taking off.

While investigations are ongoing, there are a selfies clicked by the passengers just before their ill-fated flight that have emerged online.

Lion Air and investigators haven't provided details about the issue on the previous flight Sunday night.

Two passengers from Sunday's flight posted on Instagram, reporting that they had been concerned about problems with the air conditioning system and cabin lighting before the plane left Bali almost three hours late.

It was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia in more than two decades and renewed concerns about safety in its fast-growing aviation industry, which was recently removed from European Union and US blacklists.

Personal items recovered from Lion Air flight JT610 by Search and Rescue personnel.

"In principle, all data we have obtained, including flight data and air navigation, and also from other sources - we find that there have indeed been problems" with the plane, Satmiko said.

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Inspections of the 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia since the accident found no technical issues, according to a statement by the country's Transport Ministry.

The extent of damage to the device showed the "extraordinary impact" of the crash, he said.

Divers are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder.

Although the sea floor is only about 30 metres down, strong currents and energy pipelines in the area have hampered search efforts.

A navy diver told broadcaster Metro TV on board a search vessel his team found the orange-colored box intact in debris on the muddy seafloor. The pilot of Flight 610 had more than 6,000 flying hours while the co-pilot had more than 5,000 hours, according to the airline.

Officials said human remains were collected in 37 body bags after sweeps of the site, about 15km off the coast.

Ningsi Ayorbaba weeps as she await news of her husband Paul Ferdinan Ayorbaba, a victim of Lion Air flight JT610.

Boeing Co. said it was "deeply saddened" by the crash and was prepared to provide technical assistance to Indonesia's crash probe.

Early Thursday, CNN Indonesia showed images of divers bringing the flight data recorder, commonly known as a "black box", on board one of the rescue ships in the sea close to Jakarta.

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 aircraft had not been airworthy. It said the "crash-survivable memory unit" was opened and washed and some of its wiring will need to be replaced and a new shell provided from Lion Air to enable a download of data.

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