Sriwijaya Air SJ182’s cockpit voice recorder retrieved

The cockpit voice recorder of Sriwijaya Air SJ182, which crashed on 9th January 2021 en route from Jakarta to Pontianak, was successfully retrieved at around 8 PM on Tuesday, 30th March 2021.

A cockpit voice recorder is one of the two black boxes of a commercial airplane, the other being a flight data recorder. SJ182’s flight data recorder had earlier been found on 12th January.

SJ182’s cockpit voice recorder was found not far from where the flight data recorder had earlier been retrieved in the Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) area in the Java Sea.

The cockpit voice recorder may provide crucial info about the tragic crash

newly retrieved cvr of sriwijaya air sj182
SJ182’s newly retrieved cockpit voice recorder
Image credit: @GerryS

While the flight data recorder records information such as flight path, altitude, and speed, the cockpit voice recorder records the plane’s audio environment, including the conversations that took place between the pilots in the cockpit.

This means that SJ182’s cockpit voice recorder might provide crucial information about what the pilots said or did before the tragic crash, which killed 62.

The search was “like looking for a needle in a haystack”

a diver searching for sj 182 cvr
A diver involved in the search
Image adapted from: Antara

The search for the cockpit voice recorder was a difficult one, and was described as “like looking for a needle in a haystack” by National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) Chief Soerjanto Tjahjono.

In a press conference on Wednesday, 31st March 2021, he said that the search for the cockpit voice recorder had lasted 1.5 months and involved the Indonesian Navy as well as locals from Kepulauan Seribu.

It had been suspended for a week at one point as the team was having difficulties, as they did not pick up any beacon signals that could help determine the cockpit voice recorder’s location, as they had with the flight data recorder.

We hope the cockpit voice recorder will provide answers about the crash

The cockpit voice recorder is currently being investigated by the NTSC, and President Joko Widodo has been notified about the find by the Ministry of Transportation.

No additional information about the find has been released at the time of writing, and it is likely we have to wait several weeks for the NTSC to analyze the data and make an announcement.

We hope that data in the recorder can be successfully retrieved and provide answers about the tragic crash.

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Cover image adapted from @GerryS and Antara

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