Indonesia Plane Crash: Indian-origin Bhavye Suneja was the pilot of tragic Lion Air craft (Source: Facebook)
The Lion Air plane JT610 that crashed in Indonesia on Monday morning was assigned to Indian-origin pilot Bhavye Suneja and his co-pilot Harvino. Suneja had 6,000 flight hours of experience and the co-pilot has 5,000 flight hours, according to news agency Bloomberg. According to media reports, Suneja was a resident of Mayur Vihar and studied at the Ahlcon Public School in the locality. He joined the low-cost carrier Lion Air in March 2011, Times of India reported.
The Lion Air jet that crashed was fit for operations, the airline said in a statement. The plane was manufactured in 2018 and entered service for Lion on August 15 this. The plane was a Boeing Co. 737 Max-8 model. Lion Air said it will cooperate with authorities in relation to this incident.
The Lion Air passenger plane from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang, that went missing 13 minutes after take-off on Monday morning at 6.33 am, crashed in the Java Sea, 15 miles off Jakarta Airport. According to The Straits Times as quoted by news agency ANI, the plane had requested a return to base before disappearing from radar. The aircraft was at 2,500-3,000 feet before disappearing from radar. It had reached a maximum height of about 5,450 feet after take-off and descended rapidly at about 6.31 am, according to data on Flightradar24.com. The site where the plane crashed is within the Java sea. These are shallow waters with an average depth of about 46 meters, or 141 meters.
The Indonesian aviation ministry said that there were 189 people on board, including 179 adults, three children, seven crew members. Indonesia's rescue agency says they have found plane debris at the crash site, while a statement from Boeing on its Twitter handle said that "Boeing is aware of reports of an airplane accident and is closely monitoring the situation."
As per Indonesia's finance ministry spokesman Nufransa Wira Sakti there were 20 officials on board the crashed Lion passenger jet.
Indonesia's Air Force says it has deployed three helicopters for search and evacuation in the waters of Tanjung Karawang. The National Search and Rescue Agency says debris spotted so far include aircraft parts, a handbag, driving license and national identity card.
Lion Air is the largest privately-owned Indonesian airline and among the major customers for Boeing and Airbus in Asia.