Indonesian pilots had reported multiple problems with an ageing jet’s throttle system before it plunged into the sea after take-off in January, killing 62 passengers and crew, investigators said on Wednesday.
The malfunction in the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500’s engine control system was highlighted in a preliminary report on the January 9 crash, but investigators said it was too early to pinpoint an exact cause.
The 26-year-old plane — previously flown by U.S.-based Continental Airlines and United Airlines — plunged around 3,000 metres into waters off Jakarta minutes after take-off.
Divers are still attempting to locate the cockpit voice recorder, which could provide vital clues to what the crew was saying when the flight from Jakarta to Pontianak in Borneo went down. On Wednesday, investigators said they were probing the autothrottle system — and possible human error.