UPDATE: The news we all feared, has been confirmed, the Sriwijaya Air 737-500 aircraft crashed into the sea and there appears to be no survivors. The Indonesian Navy has spent the better part of two days removing debris and human remains from the ocean. A total of five bodies have been recovered and handed over to authorities for identification. Relatives have been waiting at a command post to identify the remains of their loved ones. The aircraft’s black boxes have been pinpointed, but not recovered from the ocean floor.
2021 is getting off to a really bad start…
Earlier today, a Sriwijaya Air 737-500 went missing just four minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia. The legacy Boeing 737, not a 737 MAX, was scheduled for a 90 minute flight to Pontianak. It appears as though departure was delayed for 30 minutes due to heavy rains in the region.
Initial reports state that the aircraft climbed to approximately 11,000 feet, but soon disappeared from radar at 250 feet after losing almost 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minutes. A total of 62 souls are thought to have been aboard the aircraft when it vanished. There was a total of 50 passengers and 12 crew members. Of the passengers, seven were children and three others were infants.
Sriwijaya Air, a low budget airline, was founded in 2003. The airline has a fleet of 18 aircraft. The fleet is broken down into the following models: 11 Boeing 737-800s, 5 Boeing 737-500s, and 2 Boeing 737-900ERs. The company has had a decent safety record over the years. There had been only a handful of incidents, which included runway overruns and landing at the wrong airport.
This occurs two years after Lion Air 610 crashed just miles from where the 737-500 disappeared.
While there are initial reports of floating debris, there has not been confirmation of a crash/loss of life. My heart goes out to the families of those missing.
I will post more as information becomes available.