Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal on Saturday confirmed the widely circulated recording of a conversation from the cockpit of the Adam Air jetliner that crashed in the waters off Sulawesi last year was not authentic.
"The recording currently in circulation is not authentic and is not the original," said Jusman in his message to the ministry's spokesman Bambang S. Ervan, as quoted by Antara.
A five-minute-38-second digital recording allegedly retrieved from the plane's blackbox flight recorder, captures the final minutes before Adam Air flight KI 574 crashed into the sea off Majene regency. It has been widely circulated on the Internet and transcribed by the media.
All 102 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 737-300 were killed in the Jan. 1, 2007, crash. The plane, registered as PK-KKW, departed from Djuanda airport in Surabaya for Manado, North Sulawesi. However, the plane disappeared off the radar a few hours later while cruising at 35,000 feet.
Jusman said the authentic recording, captured on tape and stored by the National Air Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) inside a closed box, was a "secret documentation". Jusman is the former head of the KNKT.
"If there are any other parties spreading and listening to the recording without expert supervision, it could lead to the public being misinformed," he said, adding plane crash scenarios were not determined by cockpit recordings alone.
"Please respect the KNKT. The complete and comprehensive report of the crash is available at the www.dephub.go.id/knkt website."
In March this year, the KNKT published its report into the crash, which it blamed on pilot error and navigational equipment malfunctions. The report claimed the pilots were preoccupied with the system malfunction and failed to detect and appropriately correct the plane's descent in time.
However, public attention over the last few days has focused on the leaked recording, believed to be a conversation between pilot Reffi Agustian Widodo and copilot Yoga Susanto, minutes before the crash.
KNKT spokesman J.A. Barata expressed regret over the leaked cockpit conversation recording.
"Even if the recording is real, the incident is already a crime. Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convention stipulates such recordings are not to be publicized," he said.
Barata added the incident was the latest in a long list of national aviation fiascoes, following last year's ban by the European Union on Indonesian airlines from flying into the EU after a series of domestic air accidents.