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No Major Injuries Among 108 Passengers & Crew as Lion Air Boeing 737 Ditches into Ocean on Final Approach to Baliís Ngurah Airport


On Saturday afternoon, April 13, 2013, a Boeing 737 – 800 owned and operated by Indonesian air carried Lion Air slammed inro the Indian Ocean while on final approach to runway 09 at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Click Image to Enlarge

The crash landing occurred at 3:35 pm as Lion Air Flight 904 was about to land with 101 passengers and 7 crew on a flight from Bandung, West Java.

Passengers on board the flight had no prior warning from the cockpit or passenger cabin crew as the aircraft was on final approach in light rain and darkly overcast skies when the aircraft “pancaked” into the ocean, just tens of meters from the runway’s end.

Miraculously, there were no deaths reported in the incident with some 50 passengers requiring treatment at area hospitals. A small number of passengers were hospitalized.

Three foreigners were reported to be among the passengers on the flight – two Singaporeans and a French citizen – none of whom sustained serious injuries.

Following the crash, the airplane now sits in shallow water, suspended on a reef a few meters from the airport's apron with its fuselage broken. The passengers’ luggage remains on board in the submerged cargo compartment of the aircraft. Plans are to remove the wreck from the water at the earliest opportunity.

National safety investigators are on scene interviewing crew and passenger in an effort to determine the cause of the accident. The plane’s black boxes are intact and will be analyzed to provide a detailed picture of the planes behavior and activities in the cockpit in the moments leading up to and during the crash.

In accordance with international practice, blood and urine samples were taken from the pilot and co-pilot of the flight. Preliminary results indicate that the men flying the aircraft were drug and alcohol free.

The pilot of the aircraft was well experienced at the controls of the Boeing aircraft that only joined the Lion Air fleet one month ago.

Lion Air enjoys a more than 45% share of Indonesia’s domestic air market and recently made history by placing a record order of US$24 billion in new aircraft from Airbus Industries.

On tract to become a major player in the international airline industry, Lion Air plans to operate a fleet of more than 700 airplanes by 2027.

Safety Concerns

Lion Air remains on a blacklist of airlines barred from flying in European airspace due to perceived deficiencies in safety standards and operating procedures.

An overview of accidents and mishaps experienced by Lion Air include:
  • January 14, 2002 a Lion Air Boeing 737-200 crashed on take off from Pekanbaru. No injuries or deaths resulted from that crash.
  • November 30, 2003 a MD-82 aircraft flown by Lion Air crashed in Surakarta, Central Java killing 23 people.
  • March 4, 206 another MD-82 aircrafts flown by Lion Air skidded off the runway at Surabaya’s Juanda Airport when a reverse thruster failed to operate. No passengers died in the incident that caused extensive damage to the plane.
  • December 24, 2006, a Boeing 737-400 operated by Lion Air was destroyed on landing when it skidded off a runway due to incorrect flap settings and a failure to align with the runway. No one was killed in the accident.
  • March 9, 2009, a MD 90-30 airplane flown by Lion Air ran off the runway at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International airport. No one was injured in the accident.
  • November 2, 2012, a Lion Air Boeing 737-400 overshot the runway in Pontianak. Only a few injuries were reported among the 174 passengers on board.
  • April 13, 2012 – Lion Air Flight 904 – a Boeing 737-800 crashed on final approach to Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, ditching into the ocean just short of runway 09. Some of the 101 passengers and 7 crew suffered minor injuries, but none were killed in the accident.
Related Article

[Lion Air Places US$24 Bn Order with Airbus]

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