Lion Air Jet Hits Pole in Indonesia After Fatal Crash

Nov 8, 2018

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A little more than a week after the crash of Lion Air flight 610 that killed 189 people, a different Lion Air jet collided with a pole while taxing for takeoff at an Indonesian airport.

The incident occurred on Wednesday at Indonesia’s Fatmawati airport (BKS). When Lion Air’s Boeing 737-900 aircraft was on the runway, its wing crashed into a metal lamp post, leaving a piece of the plane dangling. Passengers onboard were forced to deplane and board another aircraft to continue on the flight.

Lion Air blames the collision on the airport’s “aircraft movement control personnel” who were directing the plane to the runway, The Independent reports.

Before the fatal flight 610 and the incident with the metal pole, Lion Air had a spotty safety record. The low-cost airline was founded in 1999 and quickly grew to become Indonesia’s largest airline. It has been involved in several other serious safety incidents, one of which was also fatal.

On Nov. 30, 2004, Lion Air Flight 538 overran a runway upon landing at Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport (SUB), killing 25 people on board the MD-82 aircraft. In 2002, a Lion Air Boeing 737-200 crashed shortly after takeoff from Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (PKU), but everyone survived. In 2010, a Lion Air Boeing 737-800 overran a runway at Supadio Airport (PNK), injuring several passengers, the Telegraph reports.

In April 2013, Lion Air Flight 904 crashed in the water surrounding Bali’s Denpasar Airport (DPS) after a failed landing attempt. The fuselage of the Boeing 737-800 broke in two, and passengers had to swim to safety, but there were no fatalities.

Members of a rescue team (C) prepare to dive to retrieve the black box from a Lion Air Boeing 737 (R) partially submerged in the water two days after it crashed while trying to land at Bali's international airport near Denpasar on April 15, 2013. The pilot and co-pilot of a Lion Air plane that crashed at Bali's airport have passed initial drug tests, an official said on April 15, as investigators probe the causes of the accident that left dozens injured but no fatalities. AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of a rescue team (C) prepare to dive to retrieve the black box from a Lion Air Boeing 737 (R) partially submerged in the water two days after it crashed while trying to land at Bali’s international airport near Denpasar on April 15, 2013. Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images.

In 2014, the tail of a Lion Air plane struck the runway and injured two passengers. And in 2016, another one of the carrier’s aircraft overran a runway at Juanda International Airport (SUB), but no one was injured. According to the Telegraph, in April 2018 “the main nose gear of a Boeing 737-800 collapsed after a landing in heavy rain.”

Most recently, Lion Air flight 610 plummeted into the Java Sea on Oct. 29 just 13 minutes after takeoff. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft experienced erratic speed and altitude changes in the minutes before hitting the water. Based on information from the plane’s black box, investigators now believe there were issues with the plane’s airspeed sensors or “angle of attack” sensors, which measure the angle of the plane’s nose relative to its speed.

Like the carrier, Indonesia as a whole has a questionable aviation safety record. Indonesian airlines were banned from flying to the EU and the US for flouting safety regulations until 2018 and 2016, respectively. The crash of Lion Air flight 610 is the second worst aviation accident in Indonesian history.

Featured image by BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images.

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