Indonesia: On a stormy Saturday afternoon, J182 plummeted close to 10,000 feet (3,050 metres) in 14 seconds. This was shortly after take-off from Jakarta, Indonesia. At 6 a.m. Bayu Wardoyo appears to miss Indonesian fried rice breakfast served to divers on the ship. It was looking for the Sriwijaya Air passenger jet wreckage that crashed on Jan. 9 in the Java Sea To prepare for the long day ahead, he prefers coffee, light snacks and some fruit.


Kitted out in a black wetsuit later in the morning and weighed down by diving paraphernalia. He boards a speedboat and heads out into the day’s search area under thick monsoon clouds. Wardoyo attaches his scuba regulator while there, and rolls overboard into waters overflowing with fresh tragedy.

Over the past decade, Indonesia has experienced a variety of air disasters. Wardoyo has been involved in more than his fair share of undersea searches. After an AirAsia jetliner carrying 162 people went down in the Java Sea in December 2014. The 49-year-old was working on rescue efforts. Less than four years later, in the wake of a Lion Air crash which claimed 189 lives. The returned to the same waters to search for wreckage and bodies. Now he is back there again, after Sriwijaya Air Flight 182, with 62 people on board, plummeted into the ocean. Seven children and three babies were among them.

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This crash in Sriwijaya is the worst. “The body of the aircraft is completely destroyed and scattered,” Wardoyo said in a text message. We find only small chunks of human remains. Also we also found huge parts in the Lion Air crash. We found almost a full human body in the AirAsia crash.

On a stormy Saturday afternoon, SJ182 plummeted close to 10,000 feet (3,050 metres) in 14 seconds. This was shortly after takeoff from Jakarta. Indonesia’s National Aviation Safety Committee reported that when the plane reached the sea at high speed, the engines of the Boeing Co. 737-500 were working, suggesting that the aircraft was in one piece upon impact. It remains a mystery what caused the violent plunge.

According to a person familiar with the situation, one possibility investigators are looking into is the pilots losing control because a malfunctioning throttle produced more thrust in one of the engines. On previous flights, the system had problems, the individual said.

With the hunt in its second week, expectations are dwindling that the voice recorder of the cockpit—a vital piece of jigsaw to find out what has unfolded—will always be located. On Friday, Divers retrieved the so-called black box case, but the memory chip that records contact in the cockpit between pilots and ambient sound had broken loose.