Recovery of Adam Air recorders to be attempted within days

Singapore
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Deep-water recovery efforts are due to begin in the coming days for the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the Adam Air Boeing 737-400 that crashed into the sea while on a domestic flight in Indonesia nearly eight months ago.

Indonesian National Transportation Safety Commission investigator in charge Frans Wenas says that recovery efforts are due to begin within a few days and it is hoped the recorders can be located and brought to the surface within a week.

The CVR and FDR are up to 2km (1nm) below the surface on the seabed off the western coast of the island of Sulawesi. Disagreements between the Indonesian government and Adam Air over which side should pay for the recovery of the devices resulted in no attempts being made to retrieve them.

Indonesia's government has hired US company Phoenix International to attempt the recovery. The company was involved in the discovery of some of the aircraft's wreckage, which was scattered over a wide area, as well as the two recorders in January when it was working under contract for the US government.

Wenas says the recorders will no longer be emitting signals as their batteries would have died months ago, but Phoenix International has their co-ordinates from when it located the devices in January through their "pinger" signals.

Authorities said earlier this year that one of the recorders is at a depth of around 1,800m (5,900ft) and the other is at around 2,000m.

The 737-400 crashed while on a flight between Surabaya and Manado on 1 January, killing all 102 people on board. The first pieces of wreckage were not found for 10 days and large sections of the aircraft also remain on the seabed in deep water.

Wenas says his investigation has been ongoing even without important CVR and FDR data, but he adds that the probe has not been able to move to an analysis stage due to the fact that there is so little information to work with.