Indonesia restores cockpit audio recording of the crashed Sriwijaya aerial plane

A member of the family of the passenger of the Sriwijaya SJ 182 air plane, which crashed into the sea, grieves while visiting the crash site to pay tribute, aboard the Indonesian naval ship KRI Semarang, at sea facing the sea. The coast of Jakarta, Indonesia, January 22, 2021. Reuters / Aging Dinar Olviana

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s transport ministry said on Wednesday it had found a cockpit audio recorder of a Sriwijaya Air plane that had crashed in the Java Sea shortly after takeoff on January 9, killing 62 people on board.

A press conference will be held to discuss the discovery at 1100 local time (0400 GMT), according to a media invitation from the ministry sent to journalists.

Navy spokesman La Ude Mohamed Holeb told Reuters that CNR was found on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the ministry declined to comment on whether she was in good condition.

Divers found the casing and beacon CVR from the 26-year-old Boeing Co 737-500 within days of crashing, but they spent nearly three months searching for the memory module in relatively shallow but muddy waters that sometimes attract powerful currents.

It took similar time to recover the CVR of a Lion Air 737 MAX that crashed in nearby waters in 2018.

A preliminary report by investigators into the Sriwijaya crash stated that the plane was suffering from an engine propulsion defect that eventually caused the plane to capsize sharply and then permanently dived into the sea.

That report included information from the plane’s other “black box”, the flight data recorder, which was recovered shortly after the crash. The CVR can help investigators understand the actions the pilots took.

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