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

Lion Air jet crash: cockpit voice recorder found, says Indonesian official

One of the first priorities for air crash investigators is to locate a plane's two black boxes, which hold vital clues on what caused it to go down.

The device is being transported to a navy port in Jakarta and will be handed over to the National Transportation Safety Committee, which is overseeing the accident investigation.

The plane's previously discovered flight data recorder supplied information about the speed, altitude and direction of the plane before it plunged into the sea on October 29.

Naval Lieutenant Colonel Agung Nugroho told Reuters a weak signal from the recorder had been detected for several days and that it had been found buried in about 8 metres of mud in waters about 30 metres deep.

Indonesia passenger jet with 189 aboard crashes into ocean shortly after takeoff, October 29, 2018.The recovered cockpit voice recorder of Lion Air flight 610 is kept in a water-filled container on board of Indonesian Navy ship KRI Spica in the waters of Tanjung Karawang, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

But the cockpit voice recorder - which keeps track of conversations and other sounds in the pilots' cabin - will provide new details for investigators trying to find out why the brand new airliner fell out of the sky.

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It also found that the Lion Air jet should have been grounded over a recurrent technical problem before its fatal journey, as it criticised the budget carrier's poor safety culture.

The cockpit data recorder showed the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights.

Officials had said then that it could take up to six months to analyse data from the black boxes.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and global destinations.

In 2013, one of its Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing in Bali, crashing into the sea, but all 108 people on board survived.

It has been expanding aggressively in south-east Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.

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