Mystery Surrounds Indonesian Air Disaster
Lion Air B-737 Crashes into Java Sea Killing 189 Crew and Passengers
A Lion Air Boeing 737-Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea just 12-minutes after take-off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Monday, October 29, 2018. JT-610 had departed Jakarta at 6:10 am destined for Pangkal Pinang before losing contact with air navigation ground control 13 minutes later while the aircraft was climbing to its assigned flight level.
The plane carried a total 189 passengers and crew, including 1 child, 2 infants and a crew of 7.
20 of the passengers were tax officials returning to Pangkal Pinang after attending anniversary celebrations hosted by the Ministry of Finance in Jakarta. 3 police officers were counted among the victims.
A special identification team from the National Police Headquarters has been sent to the crash site to help identify human remains. Remote controlled submarines are also being dispatched to aid in the recovery effort and to retrieve the aircraft’s black boxes.
Search and rescue personnel were able to arrive at the crash site located just north of Karawang in little more than an hour after the crash. Debris composed of luggage, fuel, and airplanes flotsam littered a small area where the sea is estimated to be between 35-50 meters deep. The sea state and winds were calm and officials have concluded there were no survivors.
The aircraft with the tail designation PK-LQP had just been delivered by Boeing Corporation in August of 2018.
Assigned to the left-hand seat in the cockpit was Captain Bhavye Suneja accompanied by co-pilot Harvino. Bhavye was an Indian expatriate pilot employed by Lion Air who, as indicated by his Facebook Page, earned his fourth stripe as a Captain in October of 2016. Captain Suneja was born in New Delhi, India and had worked with Lion Air for 7 years and 8 months, logging 6,000 flight hours. His co-pilot, Harvino, had 5,000 flight hours in his log book.
Shortly before losing contact, the Pilot had indicated he was experiencing unspecified problems and had requested flight clearance to return to Jakarta. The weather and sea state at the time of the accident were reported clear and calm.
Lion Air has opened a crisis center in Jakarta with the telephone number of +62-(0)21-80820000 and for people seeking details connected with the casualty list at +62-(0)21-80820002.