Indonesia Orders Inspections of Boeing Max 8s

 - October 30, 2018, 1:50 PM

Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation on Tuesday ordered an airworthiness inspection on all Boeing 737 Max 8s registered in the country as rescuers sifted through the wreckage of Lion Air Flight JT 610 in an attempt to recover the victims and retrieve the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. Lion Air’s fleet now includes ten 737 Max 8s and Garuda Indonesia took one last December, before deferring the rest of its deliveries amid financial troubles.

Meanwhile, pilot association Ikatan Pilot Indonesia is asking people to refrain from speculating on the cause of the fatal crash.

"It is far too early to determine the probable cause of the accident. The investigation is ongoing and until we recover the FDR and CVR, we won’t know the circumstances involved. It’s fruitless to comment without knowing the facts,” said the group’s organization development director, Ziva Narendra Arifin, who also serves as the secretary general of AOPA Indonesia and director of consulting firm Aviatory Indonesia.

Narendra told AIN that Ikatan Pilot Indonesia will host a media event on November 2 to address questions related to the crash while seeking to reduce the spread of “fake news.”

"We want to address technical questions related to the crash but we also want to discuss ethical issues that arise during an aircraft investigation,” he said.

So far, numerous theories have emerged about what might have caused the two-month-old 787 Max 8 to crash into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Some have centered on the aircraft itself, which reportedly experienced technical issues on a flight from Bali to Jakarta, including airspeed irregularities, the day before the crash.

ADS-B data from the airliner’s October 28 evening flight revealed erratic variations in altitude and airspeed including an 875-foot drop over 27 seconds when the aircraft would normally be ascending. Nevertheless, the fight crew maintained an altitude of 28,000 feet before landing safely in Jakarta. Data from Flight JT 610, captured by Flightradar24 and FlightAware, indicated similar erratic values in altitude and airspeed.

Indonesian authorities have dispatched more than 800 search-and-rescue personnel now recovering the remains of the 189 people onboard the ill-fated airliner. They expect at least 10 people from Boeing and the U.S. government arrive in Indonesia on October 31 to assist in the investigation.