189 Feared Dead in Lion Air Plane Crash Near Jakarta

By Paul Riegler on 29 October 2018
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DSC_0070A Lion Air aircraft en route from Jakarta to the city of Pangkal Pinang on the island of Bangka crashed into the Java Sea on Monday.

The Boeing 737 operating as Lion Air Flight 610, which had departed Jakarta at 6:21 a.m. local time, went missing minutes after takeoff. The pilots had requested permission to turn around and return to the airport almost immediately after takeoff. Air traffic controllers granted the request and then contact was lost.

Indonesian officials said a search-and-rescue effort was underway for the Boeing 737 Max 8, which had been scheduled to arrive at 7:20 a.m. in Pangkal Pinang. The aircraft was new and had been delivered to the airline in August.

The passenger manifest included two infants, one older child, 20 officials from Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance, ten from the state auditor agency, as well as an Italian passenger. In total, 181 passengers were on board as were eight crew members.

The pilot and co-pilot had together amassed over 11,000 hours of flight time, the airline said in a statement. The low-cost carrier’s CEO said the same plane reported a “technical issue” on Sunday night, but had been cleared to fly on Monday. He said that he would not ground the other 737 Max 8 planes in the airline’s fleet.

Preliminary flight tracking data showed the aircraft climbed to around 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) before losing, and then regaining, altitude, before crashing into the sea.

As night came, the search-and-rescue effort became a search-and-recovery operation as officials said they had found what they believed were pieces of the aircraft’s fuselage.

“We have found pieces of fuselage and passenger property,” said Agus Haryono, an operation official with the country’s National Search and Rescue Agency, adding that “there is a lot of debris.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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