Crashed Lion Air jet may have been found in the Java Sea

A TOP Indonesian military official says fuselage of the crashed Lion Air jet may have been found.

Armed forces chief Hadi Tjahjanto said this afternoon a search and rescue effort has identified the possible location of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in the Java Sea.

While search teams have found some debris and remains of passengers, they were still searching for the fuselage of the plane as well as the crucial black box recorders, which may help explain flight JT610’s mysterious crash.

“Based on the presentation of the head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, the coordinates of the suspected body of the aircraft have been found. We will send a team there to confirm,” the army chief said.

Indonesian Navy divers conduct a search operation for victims of the crashed Lion Air plane in the waters of Tanjung Karawang, Indonesia, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Divers searched Tuesday for victims of the Lion Air plane crash and high-tech equipment was deployed to find its data recorders as reports emerged of problems on the jet’s previous flight that had terrified passengers. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)Source:AP

The possible discovery comes after search teams expanded their search 15 nautical miles from the area where the plane lost contact 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta airport on Monday.

A team will be sent to the identified seabed location to confirm this afternoon’s findings.

The development comes as Lion Air said it would be meeting with the plane’s manufacturer Boeing today to discuss the jet’s erratic performance and dramatic crash.

“Of course there are lots of things we will ask them, we all have question marks here, why? What’s the matter with this new plane?” Lion Air managing director Daniel Putut said, according to The Associated Press.

A rescuer inspects a part of Lion Air plane flight JT 610 retrieved from the waters where it’s believed to have crashed at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Relatives have provided samples for DNA tests to help identify victims of the Lion Air plane crash as accounts emerged Tuesday of problems on the jet’s previous flight including rapid descents that terrified passengers. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakara)Source:AP

Indonesia’s transport minister has ordered an inspection of all 737-MAX aircraft, which is the updated version of Boeing’s best-selling 737.

Flight JT610, which was flown by a Boeing 737 MAX just two months old, crashed into coastal waters 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for a one-hour flight to Pangkal Pingang.

All 181 passengers on board, including one child and two babies, and eight crew, were killed.

Within three minutes of the takeoff, pilot Bhavye Suneja asked air traffic control if he could turn the plane around and return to Jakarta. His request was approved, but the plane crashed 10 minutes later.

Data from FlightRadar24 shows the erratic altitude (blue) and speed (yellow) of the Lion Air jet minutes before it crashed.Source:Supplied

Data from flight-checking sites showed the plane was struggling with erratic speed and altitude levels during the brief time it was in the air.

It violently plunged into the sea from an altitude of 1479m in just 21 seconds.

The day before the crash, the same aircraft experienced a difficult takeoff from Bali, with passengers “panicking and vomiting” when the plane lurched with rapid descents until it eventually stabilised.

Indonesian people examine debris from the flight. Picture: Adek Berry/AFPSource:AFP

Lion Air said there were reports of technical problems with Sunday’s flight from Bali, but they had been resolved in accordance with the plane manufacturer’s procedures.

Safety experts said that data needed to be checked against JT610’s black box flight recorders, which authorities are confident they will recover.

Relatives of the 189 people on board have provided DNA samples to help identify victims.

More to come.

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