The Sriwijaya Airplane flight SJ182 with 63 people on board which resumed commercial flight on 22 December 2020, but crashed into the Java sea on Saturday had passed an airworthiness inspection only last month according to officials.
Primary findings reveal the aircraft was still functioning and intact before it crashed.
Indonesian police have identified its first victim Okky Bisma, a 29-year-old flight attendant on the plane.
Indonesia’s Transport Ministry said on Tuesday the Boeing 737 had been grounded during the pandemic had passed an inspection on 14 December 2020 and made its first flight five days later with no passengers, then resumed commercial flights shortly after that.
The National Transportation Safety Committee KNKT head Soerhanto Tjahjono said the preliminary findings showed the aircraft reached the height of 10, 900ft (3.3km) at 14:36 local time ( 07:36GMT) on Saturday, then made a steep drop to 250ft at 14:40 before it stopped transmitting data and jet’s turbine disc with a damaged fan blade had been found ruling out the theory that the plane exploded in mid-air before the crash. In a written statement Mr. Soerjanto stated “The damaged fan blade indicates that the machine was still functioning when it crashed and plane’s system was still functioning when it reached 250ft”.
The black boxes which contain the flight data records and cockpit voice records provide vital information n in air accident investigations.
Over 2000 personnel were involved in the search operation yesterday, along with more than 50 ships and 13 aircraft. The investigators are analysing the black box, a wheel, and part of the plane’s fuselage, and a turbine from one of its engines among the debris that has been recovered.