Extraordinary video has emerged of ill-fated passengers boarding the Lion Air Flight JT610 about an hour before it crashed, killing all 189 people on board.
Paul Ferdinand Ayorbaba, one of the passengers on Monday's flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, filmed fellow travellers stepping onto the Boeing 737 MAX 8 with no idea it would be their last flight.
The chilling video comes as Indonesian officials say they are convinced pings detected at sea are from the black box flight recorder, which is likely to help investigators understand what happened to the 181 passengers and eight crew on the 13-minute flight.
In the video, passengers are seen walking in an orderly queue through the domestic terminal at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and climbing the stairs before disappearing inside the plane.
Ayorbaba captured the waiting Lion Air plane in its trademark red and white on the tarmac and panned to a another Lion Air jet in the distance.
At another point in the video, he zooms in on his boarding pass, with a chilling close-up of the flight number JT610.
Ayorbaba, who travelled often around Indonesia for business, shared the video on WhatsApp with his wife, Inchy Ayorbaba, AP reported.
"It was his last contact with me, his last message to me," she said in an interview with Indonesian TV.
Ayorbaba was interviewed at a police hospital where she had taken the couple's three children for DNA tests to help identify her husband's remains.
She said he uploaded the video about half an hour before takeoff, but she didn't see the message until 6.30am local time — and didn't watch it at the time.
Flight JT610 took off from Jakarta at 6.20am and within three minutes, pilot Bhavye Suneja asked air traffic control for permission to turn around and return to Jakarta Airport, presumably because something was wrong with the plane.
The plane lost contact with air traffic control at 6.33am, when it was believed to have dramatically plummeted into the Java Sea at high speed.
Ayorbaba said it was about 9am when she heard news of a Lion Air plane that crashed en route to Pangkal Pinang, where her husband was heading.
That's when she finally watched the video he had sent her.
"I went back to watching the video," she said.
"I saw his boarding pass he showed in the video. I started to believe he was in that crashed plane.
"I kept calling him, sending WhatsApp messages, hoping that he didn't go, or something made him cancel his trip but there was no answer."