Lion Air Plane Crashes Minutes After Takeoff From Jakarta

Published on November 2, 2018

A brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 jet belonging to Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed just 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta on its way to Pangkal Pinang. The usual one hour flight came to a deadly end when the plane suddenly dropped over 700 feet in seconds. The plane disappeared from radars before crashing into the ocean, presumably killing all 189 people onboard. The plane was brand new, and had only been flying commercially for two months. As search efforts for the victims continue, experts are trying to decipher how and why the plane met such a deadly end so easily.

What Happened?

Lion Air flight JT 610 departed from Jakarta at 6:20 am. The flight requested to return to origin airport just a few minutes later, but did not imply that there was any sort of emergency issue that needed attention. The plane crashed 13 minutes into its flight in water that is estimated to be around 100 feet deep. Efforts to find the flight recorder—otherwise known as its ‘black box’—are going on right now. Authorities are searching through the debris, but victims are assumed to have been stuck in the fuselage of the plane which sunk to the bottom of the sea. Authorities are currently gathering the bodies of victims that are found among the debris floating in the water.

Passengers on the same plane the night before. The previous flight was a flight that had come from Bali’s Denpasar airport, described the flight as “a roller coaster.” Passengers also claimed that the engine was making strange noises during the few hours it spent in air. Seeing as the plane was brand new, it seems puzzling that there would be major technical issues so soon. The Boeing 737 Max jet has only been flying with commercial airlines for a little over a year now. Boeing has expressed sympathies toward the victims of the plane crash and their families. The aircraft manufacturer has also said it would comply with any technical investigations.

Previous Lion Air Crash

A Lion Air flight on a Boeing 737 plane crashed in Indonesia during landing at Bali’s Denpasar airport in April of 2013. The flight crashed into the water just feet from the landing strip at DPS airport. The crash was investigated and experts were able to determine that it was caused by a pilot error during landing. There were no victims during the incident, though 46 people were injured and 4 incurred serious injuries from the crash.

Experts are still trying to determine how and why flight JT 610 saw such a deadly ending when it crashed into the ocean. Search efforts are currently in place. Rescue teams sift through debris to find both the bodies of victims and the plane’s black box. 812 personnel are currently deployed to help with the efforts, according to CNN. The fuselage has not yet been found.


Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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