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Adam Air 737 recorders finally retrieved from seabed

The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) from the Adam Air Boeing 737-400 that crashed into the sea while on a domestic flight in Indonesia in January have finally been recovered.

Indonesian National Transportation Safety Commission (NTSC) chairman Tatang Kurniadi says from Jakarta that the recorders were recovered by US company Phoenix International from the seabed off the western coast of the island of Sulawesi.

“The CVR and FDR have been recovered by Phoenix International. The FDR was recovered yesterday at noon and the CVR was recovered this morning at 10am,” says Kurniadi, who adds that they were “not far from each other” at a depth of around 1,800m.

“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.

The Adam Air 737-400 crashed mysteriously 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. Kurniadi says that “some small pieces” of wreckage were also brought to the surface today.

Investigations have been slow with little information to work with. Although the location of the recorders was established in January, disagreements between the Indonesian Government and Adam Air over which side should pay for the recovery of the devices resulted in no earlier attempts being made to retrieve them.

Insurance underwriters are believed to have agreed to pay for the recovery costs.

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