Before the fatal crash, Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 was stored for nine months and was certified as airworthy in December 2020.  

The Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500, registered as PK-CLC, was stored at the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020. After a routine check by the Indonesian transport ministry and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was conducted in November 2020, the authorities decided to extend the airline’s air operator's certificate (AOC).

In December 2020, the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 in question was certified to re-enter service following nine months of storage.. Following what was presumably a test flight on December 18, 2020, the jet was ferried from Juanda International Airport (SUB), Indonesia to Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK), Indonesia. Two days later, the aircraft flew its first commercial flight from CGK to Supadio International Airport (PNK), the same fatal route it crashed on January 9, 2021.  

On its final flight, the Boeing 737-500 carried 62 people onboard. About five minutes after takeoff, the Sriwijaya Air aircraft plunged into the Java Sea near Laki Island, Indonesia.

On January 12, 2021, Indonesian search teams retrieved one of the two "black boxes", namely the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) was brought ashore. The cockpit voice recorder is yet to be recovered.

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Indonesia deployed an unmanned underwater vehicle in search of the flight recorders of the crashed Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500.