Divers searching for the wreckage of Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 can no longer hear a signal from the aircraft’s missing cockpit voice recorder, the head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency said Sunday.
Diving teams have been working to locate the device, commonly known as a black box, which could help investigators piece together the final moments of the brand-new Boeing 737 before it crashed, killing all 189 people on board.
Muhammad Syaugi, head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency, Basarnas, told reporters in Jakarta Sunday that a “ping” from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was heard Saturday but “we don’t hear the ping signal today.”
“We checked that spot, located around 50 meters from the location of finding the first black box. But we can’t find the CVR yet,” Syaugi said.
The plane’s first black box, the flight data recorder, was located Thursday, but investigators say they have not yet been able to extract any information from it.
Syaugi said that the search operation had been extended and would continue through Wednesday.
The focus of continuing efforts will be to recover additional victim remains and to locate the CVR, he said.
Analysts say finding the cockpit voice recorder is imperative if investigators are to determine whether the crash has implications for other airlines collectively operating thousands of Boeing 737 flights around the world each day.
Special equipment on the way
Efforts to extract information from the flight data recorder, which should contain valuable information on how the plane’s systems were performing in the moments before the crash, continued over the weekend.
Investigators were in the process of cleaning the salt residue from its memory card so they could download the data, Nurcahyo Utomo, of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT), said.
Boeing and the US National Transportation Safety Board are flying special equipment to Indonesia to help local authorities extract information from it, agency official Haryo Satmiko said.