Indonesia plane crash – Mystery as both engines were WORKING when doomed jet crashed, flight data reveals

Indonesia plane crash – Mystery as both engines were WORKING when doomed jet crashed, flight data reveals

A JET crash that killed 62 people in Indonesia is still a mystery as flight data showed both engines were working when it plunged into the sea.

Investigators have downloaded a trove of information from a black box recovered from the sea bed, but divers are still searching for a cockpit voice recorder that could yield vital clues.

There were no survivors when Sriwijaya Air flight 182 came down four minutes after taking off from the capital Jakarta last Saturday.

Today the search for wreckage and bodies was expanded, with 4,000 personnel supported by 14 planes, 62 ships and 21 inflatable boats.

The flight data recorder was raised to the surface on Tuesday, and today accident investigators said they had successfully downloaded its contents.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said the 330 parameters – measurements such as speed, engine power and flap configurations – are “all are in good condition”.

The committee added that the data confirmed both engines had been operating when 26-year-old Boeing 737-500 hit the water.

Also today, divers found the casing of the cockpit voice recorder and its locator beacon – but they are still searching for the memory unit.

Naval officer Abdul Rasyid said he was confident divers would find the memory unit in the next few days, adding aircraft black boxes were strong enough to withstand a considerable impact.

Recordings of the pilot and co-pilot in the fateful final minutes will be crucial to establishing the cause of the crash, experts said.

The KNKT has previously said the crew did not declare an emergency or report any technical problems before the plane plunged 10,000ft and vanished from radar.

It added the debris field is concentrated, indicating the aircraft broke apart on impact and ruling out a mid-air explosion.

Families of those on board have been providing DNA samples to help identify them.

Police said 12 of the 62 victims had been identified so far, including flight attendant Okky Bisma and an off-duty pilot.

Earlier this week, haunting underwater images showed a child's Marvel backpack among wreckage on the floor of the Java Sea.

Among the victims are believed to be Rathi Windania and her three children.

She posted a heartbreaking final message before boarding, saying: "Bye bye family. We're heading home for now," with two emojis blowing kisses.

Another victim was reported to be a young girl, whose pink Minnie Mouse hoodie was found by one of the search team.

Ten children were among the 50 passengers and 12 crew – all Indonesian nationals – who died on the flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, Borneo.

In charge of the aircraft was Captain Afwan, a 54-year-old former air force pilot.

Before leaving for the airport he complained that "his shirt hadn't been ironed, when usually he is really neat", his nephew Ferza Mahardhika told the BBC.

The captain also apologised to his three children for having to leave them again.

Family and colleagues said the pilot was a devout Muslim was eager to help people in his neighbourhood in the West Java town of Bogor.

"He was a very good man. He often gave advice, wise advice. He was a prominent figure in his neighbourhood and was well-known for his kindness," said his nephew .

"I'm devastated and can't believe that this is happening. Please pray for uncle and our family," he added.

His profile picture on social media is a cartoon of Superman praying, with the words "it doesn't matter how high you fly, you will never reach heaven if you don't pray".

The Sriwijaya Air disaster is the deadliest in Indonesia since a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX with 189 on board crashed in October 2018.

That and the Ethiopia Airlines crash months later led to all 737 MAX jets being grounded worldwide over safety fears.

The latest crash involved an older model that did not use the same controversial software.

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