Indonesia to resume search for crashed Lion Air jet's cockpit voice recorder

By Cindy Silviana
FILE PHOTO: Indonesian customs officers patrol at a search area for Lion Air flight JT610 in Karawang waters, Indonesia, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

By Cindy Silviana

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia will launch a renewed search effort as early as Tuesday to find the cockpit voice recorder from a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October, the head of its accident investigation agency said.

"If the weather is good, the ship will start to depart today," National Transporation Safety Commission (KNKT) Chief Soerjanto Tjahjono told Reuters on Tuesday.

The crash, the world's first of a Boeing Co 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018, killed all 189 people on board.

Investigators last week said they planned to use a navy ship for a fresh search for the crashed jet's second "black box" after a 10-day effort funded by Lion Air failed to find the cockpit voice recorder (CVR).

A KNKT source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the team will have seven days using the ship KRI Spica to find the CVR, which could hold vital clues giving investigators insight into the actions of the doomed jet's pilots.

Tjahjono declined to comment on whether there was a time limit on the search.

Contact with flight JT610 was lost 13 minutes after it took off on Oct. 29 from the capital Jakarta heading north to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.

The other black box, the flight data recorder, was recovered three days after the crash.

A preliminary report by KNKT focused on airline maintenance and training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor but did not give a cause for the crash.

(Reporting by Cindy Silviana, Editing by Jamie Freed)