Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Safety issues dogged Indonesian carrier Lion Air

Indian captain Bhavye Suneja, who flew the ill-fated Indonesian Lion Air aircraft that crashed into the Java Sea on Monday, wanted a Delhi posting. “Since most of the pilots are from north India and they want Delhi posting, I told him that once he (Suneja) flies with us for a year we will consider his posting in Delhi. He wanted our assistance in getting an Indian ATPL (commander’s licence).
Some other pilots from Lion Air have also joined us recently,” said Bambang Suryo Aji, director of operations at the Search and Rescue Agency. Captain Suneja had over 6,000 flight hours of experience. The couple’s family and friends were waiting for them to come home for Diwali this weekend.

Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 from flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade. The ban was completely lifted in June this year. The US lifted a decade-long ban in 2016.

Of the 189 on board, two were pilots and six were flight attendants. Rescue workers retrieved six bodies from the sea where the Indonesian budget carrier’s crash took place. Authorities said they were trying to locate the black boxes and emergency locator transmitter, which was currently not transmitting, to know the exact cause of the crash.

Lion Air chief executive Edward Sirait said the plane had reported a technical problem during its previous flight from Denpasar Bali to Jakarta on Sunday night, but that was resolved before it took off on Monday morning. Lion Air Group MD Daniel Putut said the plane had two foreigners — Captain Suneja and an Italian passenger.
30/10/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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