The flight data recorder was found as a team – including divers and a remote-controlled submarine – sweeping the seabed in search of the black boxes that were on flight SJ 182 when it crashed shortly after takeoff three days ago.
Flight recorders process flight information, including pressure, speed and altitude. The second black box, the voice recorder in the cabin, has not yet been found.
The commander of Indonesia’s national armed forces, Marshal Hadi Tahjanto, said the underwater acoustic beacons on the black boxes, which send a series of pings to help those seeking them, had been separated. However, he was optimistic that the team would soon find the second black box.
The head of the National Committee for Transport Safety, Soerjanto Tjahjono, said authorities would need two to five days to read the recovered data on the black box.
“We expect that through this investigation we can reveal the secret of this accident,”
The Sriwijaya plane sank in the waters northwest of the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Saturday afternoon. The flight crashed in the Thousand Islands, a popular tourist destination among Indonesians, and traveled to Pontianak, a city in the Indonesian part of Borneo.
Four minutes in flight and in heavy rain, the plane fell to 10,000 feet in less than a minute before disappearing from radar, according to global flight tracking service Flightradar24.
Fleet divers found the wreckage on Sunday after finding a signal from the plane’s fuselage.
A search team filled dozens of bags of bodies with human remains and found parts of the plane and debris from the scene.
The plane was a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500, reports Flightradar24. Sriwijaya Airlines CEO Jefferson Irwin Yauvena said the plane was in good condition before takeoff.
Indonesia has poor aviation safety data and plane crashes are not uncommon.
The country of 270 million people relies mainly on air travel between the islands through the archipelago, which stretches for more than 3,000 miles, the same distance between London and New York.
In recent years, Indonesia has seen a boom in domestic aviation, with passenger traffic tripling between 2005 and 2017, according to the Australian consulting agency CAPA-Center for Aviation.
Sriwijaya Air, a low-cost airline and Indonesia’s third-largest carrier, carries more than 950,000 passengers a month from its center in Jakarta to 53 destinations in Indonesia and three regional countries, according to the company’s website.