Representatives from Boeing Co and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will leave for Jakarta this week to help with an investigation into Saturday’s crash of a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet, which hurtled into the Java Sea with 62 people on board.
The Indonesian government granted a waiver allowing the Boeing and NTSB officials to enter the country during its coronavirus-related travel ban, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because the matter is private.
Indonesian investigators have recovered the black boxes of the doomed passenger jet, a Boeing 737-500. Based on an assessment of the plane’s turbine discs and fan blades, the engines may still have been running when
the Boeing hit the water, National Transportation Safety Commission Chairman Soerjanto Tjahjono said.
The aircraft, registered PK-CLC and with capacity for about 120 passengers, was on its fifth flight of the day when it crashed shortly after it took off from Jakarta at 2:36 pm local time, according to FlightRadar24. It flew several short hops in the days leading up to the crash, including nine flights on December 31 and eight on January 4. All six flights on January 7 were delayed by at least an hour.
The black boxes will provide more information on what caused the plane to plunge more than 10,000 feet in a matter of seconds. Investigators have detected the pingers that are used to locate the flight recorders, which capture sound in the cockpit and monitor flight data.
Both pilots in command of Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 were experienced and the airline has a solid safety record, with no fatal accidents since it was founded in 2003. The plane itself was old — over 26 years — but also had a good safety record. The much newer Boeing 737 Max is a separate model just emerging from a 20-month global grounding after two fatal crashes, the first of which involved a Lion Air flight also plunging into the Java Sea, in October 2018.
Boeing is “working to gather more information,” spokeswoman Zoe Leong said, while Sriwijaya Air has said it will work with relevant authorities in investigation efforts.
Human remains collected from the crash site have been handed over for identification, along with 30 bags containing parts of the plane, search and rescue operation director Rasman MS said.
Flight 182 was delayed for 56 minutes in Jakarta, according to FlightRadar24, as heavy rain lashed the Indonesian capital.