HONG KONG – Indonesia has found the voice recorder in the cockpit of a Lion Air plane that crashed off the coast of the country, Indonesian officials said Monday, hoping the recordings could help explain how the pilots fought an apparent mechanical failure.
Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, in late October, killing 189 people aboard.
Haryo Satmiko, deputy head of the country's transport safety committee, confirmed Monday in an SMS that naval divers had found the voice recorder in the cockpit on the sea floor, as well as human remains, and it would probably take two to three months to analyze the situation. The data.
Mr Haryo added that part of the recorder had been damaged, but not the part containing the main data. "We have to deal with this very carefully," he said.
The aircraft was a brand new Boeing 737 Max 8, the latest model in the Boeing 737 fleet of workhorses. Its so-called black box, which records flight data, was recovered early November.
The pilots fought to save the plane almost from the moment he took offas his nose has been forced down several times. They managed to pull the nose up and down until finally losing control, letting the plane plunge into the ocean at 450 km / hr.
Flight data recorder data of the aircraft seems to support a theory among researchers that a computerized Boeing system installed on its latest generation of 737 jets to prevent them from stalling forced the nose down. The aircraft was recording erroneous data from one of two angle of attack sensors on its nose, designed to record the height at which an aircraft climbs or descends.
However, the precise cause of the accident remains unknown and a preliminary report on the accident published by Indonesian investigators in November lacked significant details. Among other things, it is still unclear whether the erroneous data, which was on the driver side, was due to a problem with the angle of attack sensor or the computer processing the sensor information.
The cockpit voice recorder, known as C.V.R., could provide additional information on the specific steps taken by the pilots as the aircraft's route became violently erratic. The flight crew requested permission to return to Jakarta airport but never turned around.
"With the CVR, we were able to see what the pilots experienced, their thought patterns, why they made the decisions they made, why they took certain actions," said Gerry Soejatman, Indonesian expert of aviation.
Ruth Simatupang, a former investigator from the Indonesian National Committee for Transportation Safety, said what pilots said could help investigators determine how much human error could have been a factor in the crash.
The recorder can also help investigators determine which specific problems could be attributed to Boeing, Lion Air or the Indonesian authorities.
Despite Boeing's insistence that proper procedures were included in the aircraft manual, the pilots have since stated that the accident did not clearly indicate the essential difference between the new 737 system and the old models. In the case of older pilots, pilots could help solve the problem of forced nose compression by pulling on the control column in front of them – a measurement that does not work in the 737 Max 8.
Another question is how Lion Air, a low-cost airline with unequal security history, managed repeated failures with data readings from the plane for days before the accident.
Mr. Soejatman stated that he hoped that the cockpit voice recorder would include a recording of the penultimate flight of the aircraft, during which the Lion Air pilots had successfully traveled to Jakarta from the island of Bali, Indonesia, despite angle of attack sensor issues.
"It was a guess?", He said about the ability of pilots to overcome problems. "Did they have some knowledge, or just instincts?"
According to staff and experts, well before the deadly crash, the Indonesian carrier favored rapid growth and political influence on security.