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BREAKING: Lion Air Boeing 737-MAX8 Crashes On Departure

An image of a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrat. Image: Lion Air

A Boeing 737-MAX 8 operated by Lion Air has crashed. Flight JT 610 took off at 7:20am local time from Jakarta.  It was scheduled to arrive in Pangkal Pinang just an hour and twenty minutes later.

The aircraft lost contact with controllers just 13 minutes after departure. FlightRadar shows that the aircraft last reported its position over the Java Sea, about 40 miles from the coast of Java. While ADSB data on the web can sometimes prove inaccurate, the flight speed and altitude profile looked slight unusual. The 737 flew much of its departure at over 300 knots and only reached a max of 5,400 feet MSL.  On initial departure, the aircraft climbed to 2,000 feet, then descended back down to 1,400 feet before beginning a shallow climb at over 300 knots. The final ADSB return from FlightRadar24 shows a steep drop in altitude before the aircraft ceased reporting. There were 178 passengers onboard the aircraft.

CNN is quoting the Indonesian Transport Minister who said that they pilots requested a return to base shortly after departure.

There is no word on the condition of those aboard yet but video posted by Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Head of BNPB Information and Public Relations Center, shows that the likelihood of survival from the debris profile is slim. Additional photos show personal effects recovered from the Java Sea.

Indonesian-based Lion Air has had a troubled safety record and was even banned from the EU for a while due to significant safety concerns. In addition to a number of incidents, this would be their 5th major accident in less than 19 years of operations.  This particular 737-8MAX was only two months old.

This is also the first major accident of a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.  Boeing’s latest 737 MAX family offers more efficient LEAP-1B engines, along with upgraded winglets, minor aerodynamic improvements, and a fly-by-wire spoiler system.  The first 737 MAX 8 aircraft was delivered in 2016.

This is breaking news.  We’ll post updates in the story as we receive them.

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Written by Avgeekery

We are avgeeks, a ragtag group of people who live, breathe, eat, sleep and dream about aviation. Avgeekery.com is that little corner on the web where we share pictures, post interesting facts and unabashedly share our passion for all things aviation.

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