Indonesian Sriwijaya Air Flight Believed To Have Crashed After Takeoff

Sriwijaya Air flights were only recently deemed safe for European Union travelers.
Sriwijaya Air flights were only recently deemed safe for European Union travelers.
Photo: DEK BERRY / AFP (Getty Images)

Shortly after taking off from Jakarta, Sriwijaya Air flight SJY 182 lost contact with air control. The passenger plane had 62 passengers onboard and is believed to have crashed, according to Indonesia’s Head Of National Transportation Safety Committee, Suryanto Cahyono.

The brief flight from Jakarta to Pontianak last made contact at 2:40 p.m. Western Indonesian Time (2:40 a.m. ET) on Saturday. The plane was carrying 43 adults, seven children, and 12 crew members, per CNN.

From the article:

Flight SJY 182 lost contact 11 nautical miles north of Jakarta’s Soekarno—Hatta International Airport at an altitude of 11,000 feet while climbing to 13,000 feet, Antara reported.

The plane dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute before disappearing from the radar, according to the global flight tracking service Flightradar24. The drop happened about four minutes after takeoff, it said.

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The plane is a Boeing 737-500 that’s 26 years old, as per information from Flightradar24.

According to a high-ranking officer at Basarnas, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, officers on the ground are finding debris around Lancang Island, where the plane disappeared from contact. It is not yet clear whether that debris is from the missing plane or if it’s from an unrelated incident, but all found materials are being passed along to the National Transportation Safety Committee for further investigation.

Indonesia has suffered from a poor air safety record, and Sriwijaya Air has historically been one of the airlines partially responsible for that reputation. A low-cost airline that transports around 950,000 passengers per month, it was only recently removed from the European Union’s list of banned air carriers after an 11-year stay.

Air travel is one of the favored means of transport for Indonesians, as it’s a fairly simple—and fast—way to jump between islands that span almost 3,000 miles.

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We will keep this post updated as we learn more details.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

Short hop jetliner flights are brutal on an airframe. The plane was 24 years old? Being utilized the way it was, was probably the equivalent of 50 years years of wear that a normal-service jetliner would experience.