Indonesian Navy divers have recovered the cockpit voice recorder from Lion Air Flight 610, a discovery that could help solve the mystery of why the brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 plunged into the Java Sea last October, killing all 189 people on board.
Divers and crew cheered when the device was lifted onto the deck of a ship Monday morning local time.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which is one of two so-called “black boxes,” was buried under eight meters (26 feet) of mud on the seabed and was found inside the current search area of 500 to 1,000 meters (546 to 1,093 yards) from the crash site, Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Agung Nugroho told CNN.
The retrieval of the device, more than two months after the crash, is a significant breakthrough for investigators trying to piece together the final moments of Flight 610. The focus will now be on pulling data that investigators hope will contain audio of the pilots’ conversations.
The apparatus must be dried for four days and cleaned for another day before the audio can be downloaded, Captain Nurcahyo Utomo from Indonesia’s transport authority KNKT said at a press conference on Monday.
“That is the longest estimation process for downloading the CVR if all of the important components are in good shape,” he said.