Lion Air Boeing 737-800MAX plane crash
Off Jakarta, Indonesia
The Boeing 737-800 MAX operated by Lion Air took off from Jakarta, Indonesia, for a passenger flight to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. 181 passengers and 8 crewmembers were onboard. The plane crashed 35 NM (65 kilometers) northeast of Jakarta over the Java Sea about 13 minutes after takeoff. All the 189 people onboard were killed.
The plane took off at dawn, at 06h21 local time. Shortly after takeoff, the flight crew radioed the controller, requesting a return to the airport. The airline reported the aircraft encountered a technical problem. Radar indications showed the plane climbing erratically, barely reaching 5,400 feet (around 1600 meters), before quickly dropping and disappearing from radar. The wreckage of the twin-engine, narrow-body plane was detected in the Java Sea. Water depth at the site is about 30-35 meters.
Weather was fine with light winds, scattered clouds at 2000 feet and a visibility of 8000 m.
The aircraft was almost brand new, having flown just 800 hours. The plane is a new model of the Boeing best-selling 737, which first debuted in 1967. Boeing introduced the 737 MAX family of aircraft in 2011, using quieter engines and more fuel efficiency than previous models as selling points. This accident is the first of its kind for this variant of the Boeing 737.
On November 7th 2018 the FAA released an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) 2018-23-51 concerning all Boeing 737 Max aircraft. This EAD states that “This emergency AD was prompted by analysis performed by the manufacturer showing that if an erroneously high single angle of attack (AOA) sensor input is received by the flight control system, there is a potential for repeated nose-down trim commands of the horizontal stabilizer. This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain.”
This accident is the 9th worst plane crash since year 2000 in terms of the number of combined onboard and ground fatalities.