Indonesian divers recover flight data recorders from crashed jet

Indonesian divers recover flight data recorders from crashed jet
Members of National Transportation Safety Committee carry a box containing the flight data recorder of Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 retrieved from the Java Sea where the passenger jet crashed during a press conference at Tanjung Priok Port, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (AP)
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Updated 13 January 2021

Indonesian divers recover flight data recorders from crashed jet

Indonesian divers recover flight data recorders from crashed jet
  • The flight data recorder recovered from the Boeing 737-300 aircraft was handed over to the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT)

JAKARTA: Indonesian officials said Tuesday that navy divers had recovered the flight data recorder of the Sriwijaya Air plane, Flight SJ182, that crashed in the Java Sea, killing all 62 people on board.

“The navy chief of staff reported to me at 4:40 p.m. that the flight data recorder and two underwater acoustic beacons (had been recovered). This means that we still need to look for the cockpit voice recorder without (signals from) the beacon,” Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces Hadi Tjahjanto said in a press conference.

“We are highly confident that we will soon find the cockpit voice recorder in the location where the beacon was found,” he added.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder of an aircraft, known as black boxes, should contain crucial data and information on why the plane suddenly nosedived into the sea.

The flight data recorder recovered from the Boeing 737-300 aircraft was handed over to the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), which will conduct the investigation with the assistance of the US’ National Transportation Safety Board.

KNKT Chief Soerjanto Tjahyono said the two beacons were detached from the flight data recorder.

“It would take two to five days to download data from the flight data recorder, from which we hope to be able to determine the cause why this crash happened,” Tjahjono said.

On Monday, Tjahjono said in a statement that based on preliminary data collected from the air traffic controller, the plane flew to 10,900 feet at 2:40 p.m. before it nosedived, and was last recorded at 250 feet, indicating that the plane’s engine system was functioning and was able to send data.

“From this data, we presume that the engine was still running before it hit the water,” Tjahjono said, adding that the wreckage is dispersed across an area of about 100 meters wide and 300 to 400 meters long, which makes it consistent with the presumption that the plane was intact before it hit the sea surface.

A total of four victims have been identified so far, including Okky Bisma, one of the plane’s cabin crew, whose wife is also a flight attendant with the same airline, police officials said.

“We have identified three more bodies today and received 111 DNA samples, and 72 bodybags so far,” police spokesman Rusdi Hartono said.

Flight SJ182 went missing four minutes after it took off at 2:36 p.m. local time from Soekarno Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said air traffic controllers saw it disappear from the radar within seconds after asking the cockpit to report its position because the radar showed it was flying in the wrong direction.

The regular domestic flight was heading north to Pontianak, the provincial capital of West Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo, which borders Malaysia’s Sarawak state.

The 26-year-old plane crashed in the Java Sea, in the waters between Lancang Island and Laki Island, which are part of a small archipelago of about 100 small islands collectively known as the Seribu Islands north of Jakarta.


Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
Updated 25 January 2021

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
  • Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft
  • France has sided with Greece in a dispute with Turkey over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean

ATHENS, Greece: Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbor Turkey.
Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July.
France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades.
Tension spiked again last summer when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a dangerous military build-up.
Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the two countries met in Istanbul Monday to resume the process that had been interrupted for nearly five years.
But Athens says it will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its military following years of cuts due to the country’s financial crisis.
France and the United States are in competition to provide the Greek navy with new frigates, while Greece’s government recently approved plans to cooperate with Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems to create a new military flight academy in southern Greece.
“The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training center is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told The Associated Press.
“It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.”
Starting in May, mandatory national service in the Greek Armed Forces will be increased from nine to 12 months to boost the number of people serving in uniform. While in Athens, Parly will also holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.