Indonesia temporarily suspended the search for divers on the cockpit voice recorder of a Sriwijaya Air that crashed with 62 people on board shortly after takeoff on Wednesday.
The search in the Java Sea had to be stopped due to bad weather that raised waves up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) high, authorities said.
Earlier on Wednesday, divers recovered more debris and a damaged identity card of one of the victims, Navy official Abdul Rasyid told reporters aboard the Indonesian navy ship Rigel.
Divers recovered the plane’s flight data recorder (FDR) from the seabed on Tuesday, and officials said they had also found the beacon that was connected to the cockpit voice recorder (CVR).
A remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) will be deployed to search the seafloor on Wednesday, Abdul said, adding that the search had become more complicated because no pings were now being issued after the beacon separated from the CVR.
“We have the ROV that will confirm the location again and tomorrow we will dive and comb that location again,” he said.
Military chief Hadi Tjahjanto said Tuesday that he was “very confident” in finding the tape recorder soon.
The Boeing 737-500 plane crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday four minutes after takeoff from the main airport in Jakarta.
Investigators will rely heavily on the two black boxes to determine the cause of the accident.
The Indonesian National Committee for Transportation Safety (KNKT) expects to download the FDR data within two to five days.
The FDR contains about 25 hours of data on eight runways and the CVR has 30 minutes of talk time, according to the final report on a similar model of a Boeing 737 that crashed in 2008.
A team from the US National Transportation Safety Board will travel to Jakarta in the next few days to help with the investigation.
KNKT’s initial findings showed that the plane’s engine was running when it hit the water, based on observed damage to parts of the plane recovered from the sea.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Transport said on Tuesday that the plane, which was grounded during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, had passed an airworthiness inspection on December 14 and returned to service shortly after.