Indonesia Plane Crash Probe’s Focus Is on Lack of Pilot Response to Controllers

A communication breakdown between pilots and air-traffic controllers has emerged as an early focus of the investigation into last weekend’s crash of a Nineties-era Boeing 737 in Indonesia, in accordance to folks with data of the probe.

The cockpit crew of the Sriwijaya Air jet, which plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff, failed to acknowledge or reply to two radio transmissions from controllers questioning why the plane had shifted from its designated route throughout its climb away from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the folks stated. Instead of flying northeast as anticipated, the aircraft veered northwest and at one level, a controller instructed the pilots to execute a flip to get again on monitor, one of these folks stated.

It is just too early to draw definitive conclusions in regards to the sequence of occasions earlier than the crash that killed all 62 folks on board, in accordance to these folks and security consultants not related with the investigation. Indonesian authorities stated the plane’s flight-data recorder, one of its so-called black containers, was recovered by divers Tuesday and brought to a laboratory so its contents might be downloaded.

Authorities stated they consider the situation of the cockpit-voice recorder—which is the opposite black field—additionally has been recognized, however tough seas prevented retrieval Wednesday.

For now, in accordance to the protection consultants, the crew’s lack of response on the radio may point out pilot confusion or distraction. One risk is that an issue with some mechanical or flight-control system may have consumed the pilots’ consideration, they stated.

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