Investigators recover flight data from Sriwijaya Air 737

Indonesian authorities announced that they recovered data from the crashed Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 Flight Data Recorder (FDR). Investigators expected to provide a preliminary report of the deadly accident within 30 days of the crash.

On January 15, 2021, the National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia (NTSC) announced that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) “[is] all in good condition“ and the authority is “now examining the data“, read the NTSC’s statement.

The NTSC added that up to 300 parameters of the recorder, including information of the aircraft speed, flying direction, and altitude were retrieved. The Indonesian search team hauled one of the two “black boxes” on January 12, 2021. For the search, the government of Indonesia deployed a remotely operated underwater vehicle to help the rescue team to scour the seabed of the Java Sea. 

The authorities believe that the recovered data would help investigators to find out why the Boeing 737 plunged about 10,000 feet in less than a minute before crashing into the Java Sea on January 9, 2021. 

Investigators told the Associated Press, that according to the “black box” data, the flight crew did not declare an emergency and did not report any technical problems regarding the aircraft before it disappeared from radars. The safety committee also disclosed that both engines of the crashed jet had been operating when the plane hit the sea.

A huge group of more than 3,000 people, assisted by dozens of boats and helicopters, have participated in the accident recovery process searching for wreckage and remains of victims of the crashed plane. A team of divers is still trying to retrieve the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) from the wreckage-littered seabed. The search process had to be temporarily stopped due to bad weather conditions and big waves but has since resumed on January 14, 2021.

According to NTSC, the preliminary report would be prepared within 30 days of the crash.

The fatal accident happened on January 9, 2021, after a nearly 27-year-old Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500, registered as PK-CLC, took off from Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International Airport (CGK). It was traveling towards its destination at Pontianak Supadio Airport (PNK), Indonesia. Five minutes after take-off, while the aircraft was flying over Laki Island in the Java Sea, the 737 disappeared from radar screens. The aircraft was carrying 62 people on board.

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


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