Lion Air funds new search for cockpit voice recorder

December 14, 2018
Lion Air report
Searchers sort through debris from the Lion Air crash. Photo: Seven News

Lion Air is reportedly paying $US2.8 million to fund a new search to  locate the cockpit voice recorder from the wreckage of the Boeing 737 MAX that smashed into the sea near Jakarta.

The ABC reported that a specialized ship would be brought in Monday to conduct a 10 day to search a section of sea floor where the fuselage of Lion Air Flight 610 the plane is believed to be buried in mud.

The unusual situation comes as bodies are still missing and the window for detecting a signal from the CVR will close soon.

The decision by Lion Air to fund the return comes as Reuters revealed earlier this week that bureaucratic wrangling and funding problems had hampered the search for the missing black box.

Read Questions raised about maintenance on Lion Air flight.

A source at the Indonesian air safety investigator told the news agency it did not have the funds to rent the search ship.

Investigators have retrieved the flight data recorder and issued a preliminary report on the sequence of events leading up to the crash.

The CVR is needed to give more insight into how the flight crew reacted to problems with the aircraft’s angle of attack sensors and stabilizer trim system.

A crew the previous night experienced similar problems but landed safely after shutting down the automatic trim system according to procedures.

However, the crew on the fatal flight appeared to fight the system until the end.

Families of some of the 189 people killed in the October 29 disaster held a protest rally in Jakarta on Thursday calling for the remains of all passengers to be recovered.

US lawyers representing families of victims have also called for manufacturer Boeing to contribute to the search for the CVR.

That would also be unusual but there is a precedent where European plane-maker Airbus helped fund the search for Air France 447 after it dived into the sea while traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009.

The co-founder of Lion Air, Rusdi Kirana, has talked about cutting future 737 orders as result of the crash.