Lion Air horror show continues with flight JT610

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This blog has complained frequently of the uselessness of Indonesian Aviation authorities.

The latest is ANOTHER Lion Air incident which also happens to be the worst air crash of 2018.

One hundred and eighty nine people are dead.

If there is one thing you must know deep in your marrow, dear reader, it is this:

Do not fly on any Indonesian low cost airline if you value you or your family’s life. 

Australia, which admitted isn’t Indonesia’s closest chommie*, has banned its officials from flying on Lion Air with immediate effect, along with the company’s two other related airlines.

“Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air plane on 29 October 2018, Australian government officials and contractors have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air. This decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear,” said Australia’s Federal Authority on October 30th.

Here is a list of Lion Air incidents over the past decade and a bit for those who think this blog is surrendering to anti-Indonesian propaganda.

  1. On 14 January 2002, Lion Air Flight 386, a Boeing 737-200 crashed after trying to take-off with an incorrect flap configuration at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport. Everyone on board survived but the aircraft was written off
  2. On 30 November 2004, Lion Air Flight 538, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed in Surakarta with registration PK-LMN (c/n 49189); 25 people died.
  3. On 4 March 2006, Lion Air Flight 8987, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed after landing at Juanda International Airport. Reverse thrust was used during landing, although the left thrust reverser was stated to be out of service. This caused the aircraft to veer to the right and skid off the runway, coming to rest about 7,000 feet (2,100 m) from the approach end of the runway. There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was badly damaged and later written off.
  4. On 24 December 2006, Lion Air Flight 792, a Boeing 737-400, landed with an incorrect flap configuration and was not aligned with the runway. The plane landed hard and skidded along the runway causing the right main landing gear to detach, the left gear to protrude through the wing and some of the aircraft fuselage to be wrinkled. There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was written off.
  5. On 23 February 2009, Lion Air Flight 972, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 landed without the nose gear at Hang Nadim International Airport, Batam.
  6. On 9 March 2009, Lion Air Flight 793, a McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 (registration PK-LIL) ran off the runway at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. No-one was injured.
  7. On 2 November 2010, Lion Air Flight 712, a Boeing 737-400 (registration PK-LIQ) overran the runway on landing at Supadio AirportPontianak, coming to rest on its belly and sustaining damage to its nose gear. All 174 passengers and crew evacuated by the emergency slides, with few injuries.
  8. On 13 April 2013, Lion Air Flight 904, a Boeing 737-800 (registration PK-LKS; c/n 38728) from Bandung to Denpasar with 108 people on board, crashed into the water near Denpasar/Bali while attempting to land. The aircraft’s fuselage broke into two parts. While Indonesian officials reported the aircraft crashed short of the runway, reporters and photographers from Reuters and the Associated Press indicated that the plane overshot the runway. All passengers and crew were evacuated from the aircraft and there were no fatalities.
  9. On 6 August 2013, Lion Air Flight 892, a Boeing 737-800 (registration PK-LKH; c/n 37297) from Makassar to Gorontalo with 117 passengers and crew on board, hit a cow while landing at Jalaluddin Airport and veered off the runway. There were no injuries.
  10. On 1 February 2014, Lion Air Flight 361, a Boeing 737-900ER (registration PK-LFH; c/n 35710), from BalikpapanSultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar/Bali via Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, with 222 passengers and crew on board, landed hard and bounced four times on the runway, causing a tail strike and substantial damage to the plane. There were no fatalities, but two passengers were seriously injured and three others had minor injuries.
  11. On 20 February 2016, Lion Air Flight 263 from Balikpapan Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport to Juanda International Airport in Surabaya overran the runway on landing, with no injuries. The National Transportation Safety Committee investigation into the incident found that failures in crew resource management led to improper landing procedures, and recommended that Indonesian airlines improve pilot training.
  12. On 2 April 2017, about 300 litres of fuel spilled on the tarmac at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya. Pictures taken by passengers on board showed fuel pouring out of one of the aircraft’s wings. Shortly after, all passengers were evacuated and the plane was grounded for further investigation. No casualties were reported. That same day a representative from Lion Air was summoned by the Indonesian Transport Ministry to clarify the incident. An early statement by a Lion Air representative said that the leak was caused by a non-functioning safety valve and overflow detector.
  13. On 29 April 2018, Lion Air Flight 892, a 737-800 (registration PK-LOO), made a runway excursion at Jalaluddin Airport after landing under heavy rain conditions, resulting in the main nose gear to collapse. There were no fatalities.
  14. On 29 October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610, a 737 MAX 8, crashed in the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, with all 189 passengers and crew onboard missing, presumed dead.

If you’re not convinced that I am correct about the dire warnings, then you have the self-preservation characteristics of a Kamikaze pilot.

Never allow your loved one’s anywhere near one of these carriers. Everyone wants to fling their sallow & pasty bods into one of Bali’s lovely seascapes, and some are lured by these nefarious low cost snake oil aviation companies.

Do not play with your life dear reader.

Avoid Indonesian low cost airlines like the plague. Pay the additional fee and fly Emirates or Qantas or British Airways or Ethiopian Airlines or South African Airlines.

Indonesian aviation has been a sea of lies, a swamp of corruption, a mosh pit of nepotism.

This crash comes only months after it received a positive safety rating following an ICAO audit.  This incident may reverse the rating.

Indonesian aviation authorities were previously criticized for poor management and safety. An EU ban on Lion Air was only lifted in 2016 after numerous incidents like those outlined above. After the investigation which will follow, perhaps it will find its name amongst those blacklisted once more.

And now, another 189 people have died.

Perhaps the Boeing concerned experienced engine problems. Perhaps the maintenance crew failed to connect A to B.  Perhaps pitot covers were left on. Perhaps … perhaps.

Indonesian aviation has grown incredibly quickly over the past two decades as its economy thrives. There are a remarkable 17 000 islands that make up this nation, and now it needs a proper aviation authority with a proper code of conduct for such a vast network of airports. The old boy network of winking officials must be caustically removed as a matter of urgency.

And the men who’ve facilitated a poor attention to aviation detail need to go to jail.

*Chommie: South African for “pal” or “mate”.


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