The Indonesian Air carrier Sriwijaya Air went missing soon after losing contact with air traffic control post take-off from Jakarta airport. Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 took off from the airport in Indonesian capital and was headed to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province. It is not yet fully clear how many passengers were onboard at the time of the take-off from Indonesia’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. The aircraft has a capacity of 130 passengers and flight time from Jakarta to Pontianak is usually 90 minutes. It is now being feared that the plane has crashed into the sea.
Various reports suggest that there were close to 50 passengers along with 6 crew members on the 27 year old Boeing. Flight officials on Saturday (January 9) lost all contact with a Sriwijaya Air passenger plane (Flight SJI182) shortly after it took off at 6:37 AM UTC from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, just four minutes after taking off. A search-and-rescue operation was immediately launched by the authorities.
Witnesses from neighbouring island claim to have found debris of metal, pair of jeans and other cable like components in the ocean. It is still to be confirmed if the debris belongs to the lost aircraft. There has been an investigation set out to confirm the same including members from the Sriwijaya Disaster Management team along with the Indonesian Rescue operations team.
The airline has a solid safety record until now, with no onboard casualties in four incidents recorded on the Aviation Safety Network database, though a farmer was killed when a Boeing 737-200 left the runway in 2008 following a hydraulic problem.The Boeing 737 is the world’s most-sold family of aircraft and has undergone several makeovers since it entered service in 1968.
The low cost air carrier Sriwijaya Air, which has about 19 Boeing jets that fly to destinations in Indonesia and Southeast Asia has been flying the SJ182 for 27 years starting from 1993. It is to be noted that the usual service life of a Boeing 737 is 25 years to the maximum. The US had implemented a ban on the Boeing 737 Max after its deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in the last 2 years. The ban was removed only last month and the Boeing flew in the US airs again from New York to Miami.
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, with more than 260 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents on land, sea and air because of overcrowding on ferries, aging infrastructure and poorly enforced safety standards.
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