Indonesian divers have retrieved the flight data recorder (FDR) of a Sriwijaya Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday.

The Boeing 737-500, carrying 62 passengers and crew, was en-route to Pontianak on Borneo island, around a 90 minute flight from Jakarta. The Indonesian transport ministry announced earlier today that the 26-year-old jet had been grounded during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic but had passed an airworthiness inspection on December 14 and had returned to service shortly afterwards.

Radio beacon retrieval raises hopes for cockpit voice recorder recovery

Divers have found a separate radio beacon which has raised hopes that the cockpit voice recorder may also be recovered from the sea bed soon.

Military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters at a news conference. “We are sure that, because the beacon that was attached to the cockpit voice recorder was also found around the area, so with high confidence, the cockpit voice recorder will soon be found.”

The National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) expects to download the FDR data by the end of this week. Committee chief Soerjanto Tjahjono said: “Hopefully we will be able to unveil the mystery of what caused this accident … so this becomes a lesson for all of us to avoid this in the future.”

The KNKT’s initial findings, based on part including engine fan blades retrieved from the site, suggest that the plane’s engine was running when it hit the water.

Image: Sky News
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