Cockpit Recorder From Indonesian Crash Is Finally Recovered

BANGKOK — Nearly three months after Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 crashed into the Java Sea, Indonesian officials announced Wednesday that they had recovered the memory module of the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder by pumping up mud and sand from the seafloor.

The crucial memory unit, which apparently broke loose from the cockpit voice recorder on impact, could reveal the final words of the pilot and co-pilot as the Boeing 737-500 plummeted into the sea on Jan. 9.

The module was recovered Tuesday night and brought to shore Wednesday by a Coast Guard ship. Officials said they believed the module was still functional and that it would take three days to a week to download and read its data.

The aircraft crashed minutes after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, killing all 62 people aboard, including six active crew members.

difference in the level of thrust between the plane’s two engines might have contributed to the aircraft rolling over before it plunged into the sea.

A difference in the level of thrust — the force of the engines that propels the aircraft forward — can make planes difficult to control, but it is unclear why that problem may have occurred during the Sriwijaya flight.

Officials hope that the recovered memory module will shed some light on why the pilot and co-pilot were unable to recover control of the plane, which plummeted more than 10,000 feet in less than a minute.

“Without the cockpit voice recorder, it would be very difficult to know the cause in this Sriwijaya 182 case,” Mr. Soerjanto said.

The Sriwijaya aircraft was the third to crash into the Java Sea in just over six years after departing from airports on Java, one of Indonesia’s five main islands.

In December 2014, Air Asia Flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea off the coast of Borneo with 162 people aboard as it flew from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. Investigators eventually attributed the disaster to the failure of a key component on the Airbus A320-200 and an improper response by the flight crew.

nose-dived into the Java Sea northeast of Jakarta minutes after taking off for Pangkal Pinang with 189 aboard. Investigators concluded that the anti-stall system malfunctioned on the Boeing 737 Max, a newer model than the Boeing that crashed in January.

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His Plane Crashed in the Amazon. Then Came the Hard Part.

“I had to let go of my own standards to try to support myself through this tough period,” he said, noting the working conditions were very unsafe. “I would never fly for wildcat mining again.”

After this plane crashed, when it became clear help was not going to come from the sky, Mr. Sena, 36, started walking.

He turned on his dying phone one final time to launch a geolocation app and then, looking at the map, decided to head in the direction of the Paru River, some 60 miles away. It was the closest area he knew to be inhabited.

For days, Mr. Sena walked only in the morning, using the sun’s position to head eastward toward the river. After slogging through swamps and ducking under vines for hours, he would stop in the afternoon to set up a campsite, using palm trees and branches to shelter from the rain.

Mr. Sena knew that predators usually hunt near the water, where prey is abundant. So he slept on hills. But he was frequently besieged by packs of spider monkeys, which tried to destroy his precarious shelters.

“They are very territorial,” he said. “I never want to cross their path again.”

The monkeys, however, were a godsend: After watching them eat a small, bright pink fruit called breu, Mr. Sena assumed it was safe for human consumption, and it became his main source of sustenance. Besides that, he ate three small, blue eggs from inambu birds, and little else.

One afternoon about four weeks after the crash, when he gone three days without eating, a buzzing noise stopped him in his tracks. Chain saw!

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