Lion Air, a low-cost operator in Indonesia, this morning had an incident involving their flight JT610, which was heading from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, where it lost contact with air traffic control at about 6:33 am local time, which is 13 minutes after take-off, and subsequently was confirmed to have crashed off the coast of Indonesia. The hull loss was the first Boeing 737 MAX crash in the world.
The jet plunged 5,000 feet into the sea off Indonesia, with 189 passengers on board. Right before the disaster, the pilot had reported technical difficulties and had requested to return to the airport. ATC approved the return, but the aircraft dropped off the radar right after.
The airline’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 was a brand new aircraft, just a couple of months into service, and had a small incident in the flight before the current flight as well, which was repaired and cleared by the engineers, and that is when the aircraft was put in the air again.
As per various reports, of the people on board, about 23 people were government officials, 20 of them from the Indonesian Ministry for Finance on board.
FlightRadar24 shows that the plane had irregular speed data and it went down abruptly right after. As per FR24, the plane climbed to 5,000 feet before losing, then regaining, height, before finally falling towards the sea.
We’re following reports that contact has been lost with Lion Air flight #JT610 shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 29, 2018
This is indeed a sad moment for aviation. We have reversed all the good days of safe aviation this year with multiple incidents. Of course, at the moment the flight recorder data is the only way to find out what happened, so no amount of speculation would help.