Indonesian officials appear confident the location of the main part of the fuselage from the Oct. 29 Lion Air flight JT610 crash has been found, as the search for wreckage continued for a third day on Oct. 31.

Indonesian military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told local media “pings” were detected by scanning devices, indicating the possible coordinates of the fuselage and the cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Personnel and equipment were dispatched to the location.

An Indonesian transportation safety official told Reuters pinging sounds were detected on the afternoon of Oct. 30 at a depth of 35 m (115 ft.). He added that divers have been deployed to the site. The Indonesian navy later said a 22-m-long object that could be from the fuselage has been identified by sonar.

The crash is the first involving a Boeing 737-8 aircraft. Flight JT610 departed Jakarta at 6:20 a.m. local time on Oct. 29 and lost contact with air traffic controllers at 6:33 a.m. Based on debris and human remains recovered so far, all 189 people on board are believed to have been killed as the aircraft crashed into the Java Sea.

Day Three of the search and recovery operation involved 44 vessels and six helicopters.

Data from aircraft-tracking websites suggest irregularities in altitude and speed information before the aircraft crashed, and also on the previous day’s flight. A scan of a maintenance log circulated on the internet appears to show issues with airspeed readings, although authenticity of the log has not been verified.

Lion Air has admitted there were technical issues with the aircraft during its flight the day before the crash, although it stressed these were resolved properly. An Indonesian safety official told media on Oct. 30 unreliable airspeed readings were among the technical issues identified in the previous flight.

The carrier has confirmed it suspended its technical director, Muhammad Asif, as of Oct. 31, following a directive from the Ministry of Transport to remove him and some of the technicians involved in checking the aircraft. Muhammad Rusli has been named acting director of Lion Air Engineering.

Boeing said it has dispatched technical experts to Indonesia and “is providing technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating” the Flight JT610 crash.

Adrian Schofield/Aviation Daily

Chen Chuanren,