Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Recorders retrieved from Adam Air Flight 574 crash site

Adam Air logoRemember Adam Air Flight 574, the Indonesian airliner that disappeared on New Year's Day? The aircraft's flight recorders -- the so-called 'black boxes' -- finally have been recovered from the seabed where the wreckage of the Boeing 737-400 has lain since January. Both the flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) were retrieved from a depth of 1800 meters off the western coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

An article on Flight Global.com about the recovery of the devices quotes Indonesian National Transportation Safety Commission (NTSC) chairman Tatang Kurniadi who said that the recorders were retrieved by Phoenix International, an American marine services company.
“According to the preliminary information there is only a little bit of physical damage but it is too early to say [if data can be retrieved].”

He adds: “I hope that we will be able to get the data so that we can finish the job [investigating] as soon as possible.”

Kurniadi says the recorders will be sent to the USA for attempted data retrieval by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Adam Air Flight 574 disappeared mysteriously during a domestic flight between Surabaya, Java, and Manado, on Sulawesi island. All 96 passengers and 6 crew members were lost in the accident. Despite a huge search over a wide area, no debris was found until 10 days after the aircraft disappeared. No bodies were ever recovered.

In late January, a US oceanographic vessel reportedly located the area on the seabed where the aircraft's recording devices lay, but retrieval required specialized equipment that was not readily available at that time. Over the ensuing months, the Indonesian government and officials at privately owned Adam Air disagreed over who should bear the cost of the recovery operation. FlightGlobal.com now reports that insurance underwriters are believed to have agreed to pay for the recovery costs.

Let's hope that the CVR and FDR data can be read so that the cause of this terrible accident can be determined, and the mystery solved.

Related: Click here to view all posts on this blog about Adam Air Flt 574.