JAKARTA, Indonesia – A Lion Air jet with 189 people aboard hit the surface of the Java Sea with sufficient…
JAKARTA, Indonesia – A Lion Air jet with 189 people aboard hit the surface of the Java Sea with sufficient speed to “tear it apart” at impact, the main investigator said Wednesday.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Transport ordered the budget carrier to cancel its technical director pending a probe in what is the first major accident involving the Boeing 737 Max 8, the latest variant of the popular single-run 737.
As the beam crashed Monday shortly after launch, ship with sonar and as many as 100 divers have concentrated their efforts near a debris field off the coast north of Jakarta. They have restored human remains, personal objects and small broken parts of the planet.
“We are confident that the airplane was decomposed after a high speed impact of water,” said Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee, leading the crash investigation. “We have only found small pieces of junk.”
“The aircraft did not set the gap and then fall,” said Tjahjono.
Bigger pieces of wreckage, like the hull, have been abominable. Investigators have discovered pings as they say are likely to come from the black box’s flight data and voice recorders and review images captured by a remote-driven vehicle at a depth of about 1
Repeated diver said Wednesday afternoon they encountered a strong current and poor underwater visibility caused by sediment and cloudy skies. An object of interest turned out to be a shipwreck. An investigator said the remote-controlled vehicle broke down and demanded repairs.
In a port near Jakarta, searchers have sorted restored items like shoes and bags on tarps. Human remains have been sent in dozens of body bags to a hospital for DNA testing.
Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi ordered the cancellation of air crew who had cleared the jet to fly, “said Technical Director, identified by Lion Air as Muhammad Asif, to replace technicians and others in anticipation of an investigation. Mr Asif could not be reached immediately for comments.
Lion Air, formally known as PT Lion Mentari Airlines, was able to face corporate sanctions, Sumadi said.
The spokesman for the Baitul Ihwan Ministry said the suspension was ordered because “the investigation will require their attention.”
A spokesman from Lion Air confirmed the suspension of Asif, who was responsible for Lion Air’s maintenance operations. He could not confirm if any other staff had been suspended.
Investigators collect flight logs, maintenance records and other documents related to the beam and seek clarification from Lion about what the airline described as a “technical issue” plane experienced Sunday on a flight from Bali to Jakarta. Lion said that the matter was resolved before Monday’s deadly flight.
“We can confirm that the aircraft had any problems” on Sunday flight, says Mr Tjahjono. “However, we have not verified what the problem was.”
Some passengers on Bali’s Sunday flight said the flight was delayed without clear explanation. Samir Skif, 38, said the power was cut to the cottage during the delay and the passengers sat in the dark for more than an hour without air conditioning.
“Some people choked so started leaving the planet,” he said.
The flight eventually left and experienced turbulence during flight time, he said, “but nothing really freaking out or dramatic.”
Lion Air did not respond immediately to a request for comments.
Andrew Lotulung / Zuma Press
Potentially erroneous or misleading airway indications in the cockpit have emerged as an initial focus for security experts, according to industry officials investigating the investigation.
Data collected by Flightradar24, a flight tracking network, indicated that the plane suffered from possible irregular speed and altitude readings on both crashed and previous flight, including a dip at a height as a pilot described as unusual.
Flight stations lost contact with Flight 610 shortly after it took off for the island of Bangka. The Ministry of Transport said the pilots requested returning to Jakarta airport before they disappeared from radar.
, who participated in the probe, expressed an interest in pilots getting unreliable speed data and about the maintenance history of the plan, according to people who know the conversations.
Rescuers say they have found rubbish and body parts off the coast of Jakarta at the assumed site where an Indonesian jetliner with 189 people walked down minutes after starting. Photo: Getty Images
A Boeing spokesman refused to comment, referring to the company’s previous statement that it provided technical assistance in the probe and ruling questions to Indonesian authorities.
The Ministry of Transport has ordered the two Indonesian airlines flying the Boeing 737 Max 8, Lion Air and flag carrier
to report any repetitive issues and explain procedures that they use to fix them. The plan will remain in operation and will not be founded.
Lion Air is one of Asia’s largest budget companies. It has had a spotty security record. In April 2013, a new Boeing plan in groundwater crashed briefly on the Bali resort. All 108 passengers and crew were rescued. The crash is blamed on a pilot error.
Indonesia has a long history of aviation disasters and its carriers are limited for many years to fly to the United States and Europe for safety reasons. The last restrictions on Indonesia’s airline will be lifted in June this year.
-Jake Maxwell Watts and Andy Pasztor contributed to this article.