The black box voice recorder of a Lion Air flight that crashed into the sea off Indonesia in October has been recovered.
The two-month-old aircraft plunged into the Java sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people onboard.
The new discovery should help investigators to finish their investigation of what went wrong on the doomed flight.
The new Boeing 737 Max hit the water with so much force it was broken into many pieces, also causing the bright orange voice recorder to break in two.
“Hopefully it’s still useful [to investigators],” Haryo Satmiko, deputy head of Indonesia’s transport safety committee (KNKT) said, according to the BBC.
Indonesia’s Navy spokesman Agung Nugroho said the recorder’s signal had been detected for several days before it was found buried 8m deep in mud on the seafloor.
The aircraft’s other black box, its flight data recorder, revealed the jet’s airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights, according to the ABC.
A preliminary investigation released in November revealed that the pilots engaged in a struggle with a feature of the aircraft called the ‘angle of attack’ sensor, designed to prevent the plane from stalling.
Investigators have said the plane was not airworthy at the time of the disaster and should have been grounded.
Lion Air has since rejected claims the plane should not have been operating.
The crash was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia in more than 20 years, sparking fresh concerns about the country’s fast-growing aviation industry which was only just removed from EU and US blacklists
Featured image source: Reuters/Antarafoto/M.Adimaja