Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Air Force has dispatched two choppers to assist the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) in its efforts to haul the body parts and debris of the crashed Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182.

The two choppers, an NAS 332 Super Puma and an Eurocopter EC725 Caracal, based at the Atang Sanjaya airbase in Bogor, West Java, conducted an airborne search and rescue operation inside the areas of Sector 1 and 2, determined by the Basarnas, for about two hours on Monday.

The airborne operation was led by the Air Force Chief of Staff's Operation Assistant, Air Vice Marshal Henri Alfiandi.

Piloted by Captain Randi and Second Lt. Anterio, the two helicopters also carried several SAR team members from the Indonesian Air Force's special air service unit.

In another development, the National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) has hinted that research vessel Baruna Jaya will assist the search operation to retrieve the aircraft's cockpit voice and flight data recorders.

Baruna Jaya is equipped with technology that can read pings from the two black boxes of the Boeing 737-500 jet, the commission's head, Soerjanto Thahjono, told journalists in Tangerang, Banten province.

A team of divers has detected pinging from the black boxes of the flight that crashed in the Thousand Islands waters not long after taking off from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Saturday (January 9, 2021).

The divers have worked ceaselessly to locate the cockpit voice and flight data recorders of the aircraft that carried 50 passengers and 12 crew members on board for its Jakarta-Pontianak flight service, Thahjono said.

Combined efforts to locate the black boxes of the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 at the earliest would be bolstered owing to Baruna Jaya's assistance in determining the location of the pings, he added.

Meanwhile, Basarnas Chief Air Marshal Bagus Puruhito had stated earlier that a joint team had captured pings from the black boxes during an evacuation process.

"Divers have also conducted search operations to haul body parts and debris from the waters and to locate and retrieve the plane's black boxes," he stated.

The Transportation Ministry had also confirmed earlier that airport authorities had lost contact with the Sriwijaya Air flight at approximately 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday.

According to the ministry, the last contact was made with the Boeing 737-500 jet, bearing registration number PK CLC, at 11 nautical miles north of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, after it crossed an altitude of 11 thousand feet and was climbing to 13 thousand feet.

The plane took off from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday and was scheduled to land at the Supadio Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, at 3:50 p.m. local time. (INE)

Related news: Baruna Jaya to assist in searching Sriwijaya's black boxes: KNKT
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Translator: Syaiful H, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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