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UPDATE: Investigation into Lion Air crash – one week later

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UPDATE: Investigation into Lion Air crash – one week later | The Thaiger

A few key new facts have emerged in recent days as the search for the plane fuselage and the investigations continue…

• Lion Air Flight 610 was intact with its engines running when it crashed at high speed into the Java Sea

• Investigators have already determined that Flight 610 did not explode in the air and was in “good shape” when it entered the water

• Investigators have confirmed there was a technical problem with the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on the day of the crash

• Diving teams could no longer hear any signal from the cockpit voice recorder

• The plane’s other ‘black box’, the flight data recorder, was located last Thursday

• The plane had only recorded 19 flights, including last Monday’s flight

• On the day before, a passengers says the same plane “dropped as if it was losing power. It dropped about 400 feet”

The Lion Air Flight 610 was intact with its engines running when it crashed headlong into the Java Sea last Monday off the coast of Jakarta. The claim comes from the head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.

Soerjanto Tjahjono says that Flight 610 did not explode in the air and was in “good shape” before it literally fell out of the sky, killing all 189 people on board.

He was speaking with victims’ families today and claimed there were “technical problems” with the brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft when it took off last week. He did not elaborate on his claims or where he received the information.

Authorities have already confirmed the same plane, on a Bali-Jakarta flight the day before the crash, had experienced technical issues, including a sudden loss of altitude which was recorded on the flight path. The loss of altitude occurred at approximately the same time after take-off – around 10 minutes.

Divers are continuing to comb the waters off Java island coast for the aircraft’s missing cockpit voice recorder (black box), which will likely shed vital clues on the plane’s final moments before it crashed.

The head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency says that after initially hearing a “ping” from the CVR on Saturday there has been silence ever since.

“We checked that spot, located around 50 metres from the location of finding the first black box. But haven’t been able to find the black box.”

The plane’s flight data recorder was recovered last Thursday and has already shown that the plane had only performed 19 flights, including its final flight. Aviation data experts from four countries are now going though the rest of the vital recorded data to piece together evidence about the doomed flight’s last minutes.

Analysts say finding the cockpit voice recorder is imperative and has implications for other airlines flying similar model 737s around the world.

The same Boeing 737 Max 8 jet had experienced a significant drop in altitude on a flight from Bali to Jakarta, according to passenger Robbi Gaharu.

“After 10 minutes in the air the plane dropped as if it was losing power. People panicked. It dropped about 400 feet. It felt like we were falling into “a really, really deep hole.” He says he was able to confirm the altitude drop on a flight-tracking website.

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Southeast Asia

FOUND: Cockpit Voice Recorder from crashed Lion Air flight

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FOUND: Cockpit Voice Recorder from crashed Lion Air flight | The Thaiger

PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX, identical to the crashed jet

“It’s broken into two pieces so hopefully it’s still useful.”

Just as hopes of finding the second black box of the crashed Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX began to fade, investigators say they finally found the voice cockpit recorder (CVR) of the doomed flight. Data retrieved from the device could help determine whether pilot error or specific issues with the MAX 8 contributed most to the October 2018 crash.

The discovery is a critical part of the puzzle to explain how a brand new Boeing 737 MAX fell out of the sky just after take-off.

The plane vanished from radar 13 minutes after take off, slamming into the Java Sea moments after pilots had requested to return to the airport, killing all 189 people onboard.

The bright orange cockpit voice recorder was discovered early yesterday in the mud about 10 metres from where search and rescue teams found the flight data recorder in November.

Haryo Satmiko, deputy head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee was hoping the device would still be useful in uncovering important evidence.

“It’s broken into two pieces so hopefully it’s still useful.”

“This will really help the investigation and could give some more answers on the causeof the crash.”

The flight data recorder supplies information about the its speed, altitude and direction. The Cockpit Voice Recorder actually records the conversations and communication of the pilots.

A preliminary report on the crash speculates that the pilots of the new Boeing 737 struggled to control the plane’s anti-stall system just before the accident. The report was also critical of Lion Air Indonesia for not grounding the plane before the fateful flight as four previous flights had reported issues with the automated anti-stall system.

FOUND: Cockpit Voice Recorder from crashed Lion Air flight | News by The Thaiger

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Southeast Asia

Cambodian diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

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Cambodian diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled | The Thaiger

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Cambodia is moving to annul diplomatic passports issued to people not born in Cambodia. This from the The Phnom Penh Post today.

The report says that analysts believe the move may be in response to Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra using a Cambodian passport to register as a company director in Hong Kong.

The government last week released a letter of instruction on the provision of diplomatic passports to foreigners appointed as advisers and assistants to the political elite and government institutions.

The two-page instruction released last week by PM Hun Sen, which The Post received over the weekend, says some foreigners appointed as advisers and assistants to high-ranking officials and institutions had become naturalised Cambodians and applied for diplomatic passports.

The letter of instruction says in order to prevent such passports being used incorrectly, as stated in a 2008 sub-decree, the government instructs that Cambodian diplomatic passports must not be issued to those who are not Cambodia-born unless it is a “most necessary case”.

“All ministries and institutions have the duty to collect the diplomatic passports that they applied for their advisers and assistants who are not Cambodian by birth, and hand the passports over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation no later than a month from the date of this instruction,” said the letter, which was signed by Cambodian PMHun Sen.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the duty to check and annul diplomatic passports already issued for individuals who are not Cambodian by birth,” the letter states.

It also orders the Ministry of Interior to prevent the use of such passports to enter and depart Cambodia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ket Sophann told The Post on Sunday that his ministry had requested PM Hun Sen to issue the instruction.

He also declined to comment on what action will be taken should foreigners still use such passports.

The government’s instruction came as Hong Kong-based English language daily South China Morning Post last week reported that Yingluck, the fugitive former Thai PM, had used a Cambodian passport to register a company in Hong Kong last August.

The government denied last week that a Cambodian passport had ever been issued to her.

SOURCE: The Nation, via The Phnom Penh Post – Asian News Network

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Southeast Asia

Business class bird stowaway in Singapore Airlines flight

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Business class bird stowaway in Singapore Airlines flight | The Thaiger

by The Straits Times – Asia News Network

Business-class passengers found themselves greeted by the stowaway about 12 hours into the flight. A typical Singapore-London flight takes about 14 hours.

In a statement yesterday, a Singapore Airlines spokesman confirmed that a bird was found on flight SQ322 last week.

“It was subsequently caught by cabin crew with the assistance of some of the passengers on board,” said the spokesman.

In a video posted on Facebook, the mynah can be seen perched, seemingly unfazed, on top of an unsuspecting passenger’s headrest. An air steward is seen making a grab for the bird but it evades capture.

SIA saythe bird was handed over to animal quarantine authorities once the aircraft touched down in London. The airline did not provide more information on how the bird got into the aircraft.

Business class bird stowaway in Singapore Airlines flight | News by The Thaiger

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