MIAMI – Indonesia has recovered the cockpit voice recorder from a Sriwijaya Air (SJ) jet that crashed into the Java Sea in January. Air accident investigators said on Wednesday it could take up to a week to transcribe the recording.

The jet crashed shortly after takeoff on January 9, killing all 62 people on board. The CVR could help investigators understand the actions taken by the pilots of the doomed craft.

PK-CLC, the aircraft involved in the accident, at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in 2017, in an earlier livery. – CC BY-SA 2.0, Wiki Commons

Thrust Imbalance Likely Cause

According to Reuters, a preliminary report by investigators released in February said the plane had an imbalance in engine thrust. The imbalance eventually caused the jet to go into a sharp roll and then a final dive into the sea. The report included information from the flight data recorder (FDR).

Although divers had found the casing and beacon of the CVR from the 26-year-old Boeing Co 737-500 within days of the crash, they had still been searching for the memory unit in relatively shallow, muddy waters where currents are sometimes strong.

The CVR was located late on Tuesday under a meter of mud, Indonesia’s transport minister told a media conference.

“We will take CVR to a lab for reading [which will take], about three days to one week,” Indonesia National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) head Soerjanto Tjahjono said. “After, that we’ll transcribe and match it to FDR. Without a CVR, in the Sriwijaya 182 case, it would be very difficult to determine the cause.”

Featured image: Sriwijaya Air. Photo: Axel Anderson