Black box of crashed Lion Air flight JT-610 found and recovered ‘in one piece’

Indonesian authorities recovering Lion Air JT-610’s flight data recorder (FDR) in November 2018. Photo: Twitter / @Baruna_BPPT
Indonesian authorities recovering Lion Air JT-610’s flight data recorder (FDR) in November 2018. Photo: Twitter / @Baruna_BPPT

After days of searching, Indonesian authorities have finally found and recovered the black box of crashed Lion Air flight JT-610 in the depths of the sea this morning.

The black box — aka the flight recorder, a crucial element for the crash investigation — was recovered by Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) divers after authorities located its signal yesterday.

“We found the orange-colored black box. It’s in one piece, but there are some components that are covered in mud,” TNI AL diver Hendra told Liputan 6.

However, the divers say the black box had been separated from the main fuselage of the aircraft, which still hasn’t been located.

The military yesterday said they had strong reason to believe they had found the location of the main fuselage underwater, but divers later found the object that they had detected was actually an old shipwreck.

Authorities have so far recovered 48 body bags from the crash site, but they don’t necessarily equal the same number of bodies recovered because most of them were reportedly found in pieces. Only one victim has been positively identified so far.

JT-610, which departed Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Oct. 29 at 6:20am and was scheduled to arrive in Bangka Belitung capital Pangkal Pinang at 7:20am, disappeared from the radar around 13 minutes after take-off.

The Aviation Agency says the flight’s pilot requested to return to Soekarno-Hatta shortly after take off before communications were lost with the plane. The National Search and Rescue Agency then found evidence that the plane crashed in the waters of Karawang Bay off the coast of West Java soon after.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. To aid the crash investigation, the Indonesian government yesterday suspended Lion Air’s technical director and technicians who cleared JT-610 to fly.

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