Indonesia recovers Lion Air jet’s cockpit voice recorder

Growing questions have been raised about the Lion Air plane’s previous flight

Rear Adm. Yudo Margin, chief of the Indonesian Navy, shows the recovered cockpit voice recorder of Lion Air flight 610 that crashed into the sea in October during a press conference on board of the navy ship KRI Spica in the waters off Tanjung Karawang, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

The Boeing 737 MAX vanished from radar about 13 minutes after departing Jakarta, slamming into the Java Sea moments after pilots had asked to return to the capital and killing all 189 people onboard.

Pilots flying the same plane a day earlier had experienced a similar problem en route from Denpasar, Bali, to Jakarta, the transportation safety committee said then.

It emerged there were problems with the air-speed indicator on four of the plane's previous flights. The plane crashed in waters almost 98 feet deep on October 29, just after takeoff.

He added that the recorder had "obvious scratches on it", but that it was unclear what damage it had suffered.

A flight data recorder was recovered shortly after the crash, but listening to the last conversations between the pilots and ground control should help investigators finish piecing together what went wrong in the short flight.

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The bright orange voice recorder was discovered about 10 metres from the plane's data recorder, said Isswarto, the commander of the navy's Lion Air search and rescue task force.

Black box data help explain almost 90% of all crashes, according to aviation experts.

Mr Nugroho said that a weak signal from the recorder had been detected "for several days".

Indonesian officials have located the flight recorder from Lion Air flight JT610.

Despite a dubious safety record and an avalanche of complaints over shoddy service, the budget carrier's parent Lion Air Group, which operates five other airlines, has captured half the domestic market in less than 20 years of operation.

The pilots appeared to struggle with an automated system created to keep the plane from stalling - a new feature of the Boeing 737 Max. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.

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