The Lion Air plane with 188 people onboard, flying to Pangkal Pinang on the island of Bangka, disappeared from radar only 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta.
Jakarta: Hours after a Lion Air Flight JT 610, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, with 188 people onboard crashed into the sea on Monday, it was reported that Bhavye Suneja, a resident of Delhi’s Mayur Vihar, was the captain of the Indonesian carrier. According to The Times of India, Suneja, an alumnus of Ahlcon Public School, had joined the Lion Air in March 2011.
According to The New York Times, Captain Suneja had over 6,000 flying hours. His LinkedIn profile suggests that before joining Lion Air, he was a trainee pilot with Emirates from September and December 2010. Flight JT610 had 800 hours of flying time. The TOI, meanwhile, mentioned a senior official of an Indian airline that 31-year-old Suneja was pondering over returning to India.
The jet, flying to Pangkal Pinang on the island of Bangka, disappeared from radar only 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta, plunging into the ocean. The pictures of the debris were tweeted by disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
According to Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Yusuf Latif, authorities were still looking for the remains of the plane, which lost contact with air traffic control at around 6.30 am (2330 GMT).
(Pic courtesy: Associated Press)
The aircraft, a Boeing 737, reportedly had 178 adult passengers, one child and two babies, and seven crew members (two pilots and five flight attendants) aboard.
Lion Air is a privately-owned low-cost airline with a mixed safety record. Founded in 1999, Lion Air, which is the biggest airline in Indonesia as far as the number of passengers is concerned, has been involved in at least 15 crashes since it commenced its operations. In 2004, a Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Surabaya had overshot the runway and crashed, killing 25 people on board.