A Lion Air flight number JT610 passenger flight carrying 189 passengers crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.
The ill-fated flight was heading to the city of Pangkal Pinang off the island of Sumatra when it lost the contact with Air traffic control around 2230GMT (6:30 am) local time, approx 13 minutes after takeoff.
Lion Air flight JT610
“The plane had requested to return to base before finally disappearing from the radar, “Sindhu Rahayn,” DG Civil Aviation at the transport ministry said,”
Lion Air flight JT610 was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, was carrying 181 passengers, including children and infants and 8 member crew.
There were two foreigners on board the plane, The pilot was Indian from New Delhi and another one was an Italian citizen.
Its Pilot and co-pilot had together flown 11,000 hours of flying time, the airline said in a statement.
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The accident is the first to be reported that involves the widely-sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer’s workhorse single-aisle jet.
We’re following reports that contact has been lost with Lion Air flight #JT610 shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 29, 2018
The search and rescue agency said the flight ended in waters off West Java that are 30 to 35 meters (98 to 115 feet) deep.
The agency’s chief Muhammad Syaugi told a news conference that divers were trying to locate the wreckage.
Lion Air said the aircraft was airworthy and had only been in operation since August.