Jakarta/Singapore: Indonesia found the cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air plane that crashed in October, giving investigators a real chance at solving the mystery of what brought down a modern jet. The CVR of the Boeing Co. 737 Max aircraft was intact when it was recovered in the Java Sea, said Agung Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesian Navy’s first fleet command. The CVR, together with the flight data recorder that was found in November, are jointly known as the black box of an aircraft.

“We can confirm that the CVR was recovered at 9.10am this morning in the Tanjung Karawang waters by Navy divers," Nugroho said. “We are bringing it to shore and expect it to arrive in the afternoon."

The CVR is intact even though it has some scratch marks and dents from the impact, Nugroho said. The Navy is coordinating with Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee on the next steps after the device is brought to the shore, he said.

Lion Air’s JT610 nose-dived into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff on 29 October, killing all 189 on board to become the country’s worst air disaster in two decades. Poor safety procedures and the inability of pilots to gain control of a malfunctioning aircraft may have contributed to the crash, according to a preliminary report by Indonesian investigators in November.

Confusing warnings

While the report didn’t specify the cause of the tragedy, it outlined how pilots handled confusing anti-stall warnings during the last two flights of the almost brand-new 737 Max 8. It also recommended that Lion Air improve its safety culture.

In response to the report, Boeing said the 737 Max series of jets is “as safe as any airplane that has ever flown."

Lion Air’s co-founder, Rusdi Kirana, threatened in December to scrap aircraft orders from Boeing, saying he felt betrayed by the manufacturer’s reply. Lion Air is the third-largest buyer of the updated single-aisle plane from Boeing, behind Southwest Airlines and Flydubai.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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