Aerospace & Defense

Boeing's 737 MAX 8 planes will not be grounded after jet crash, Indonesian government says

Key Points
  • Indonesian officials will not ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in their country.
  • A brand new plane of that type crashed on Monday, shortly after take off from an airport serving Jakarta.
  • All 737 MAX 8 planes operating in Indonesia will undergo additional inspections.
Brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes into Java Sea

Indonesian transportation officials have said Boeing's 737 MAX 8 planes will not be grounded, despite uncertainty surrounding Monday's crash of Lion Air's brand-new jet.

Flight JT 610 crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta with 189 people on board. Nobody is expected to have been found alive.

According to a Reuters report, the Indonesian government on Tuesday ordered an inspection of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes in the country but has stopped short of grounding the aircraft.

The crashed plane had only been in operation since August 15 and had logged a total of 800 hours of flight time, according to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Commission.

Lion Air has suggested that the plane had previously revealed a technical problem on a separate flight, but this had been subsequently fixed.

The accident is the first to be reported involving the widely sold Boeing 737 MAX. The single aisle jet is Boeing's bestselling commercial aircraft. In 2011, Lion Air ordered 230 737's, including 201 737 MAX jets, according to Boeing.

The MAX 8 has also been ordered by airlines including American Airlines, United Airlines, and FlyDubai.

Boeing said in a statement Monday that it "stands ready to provide technical assistance to the accident investigation" while the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are both sending investigators to Indonesia.

Flight JT 610 was enroute to the mining town of Pangkal Pinang on Monday when the plane suddenly lost altitude at 5,000 feet, falling into the Java Sea. Officials have said the pilot had asked to return to Soekarno-Hatta airport but then lost contact with air traffic control.

Indonesian divers have resumed searching the area on Tuesday and are using underwater "pinger locators" to try to find the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder.

Sonar vessels and an underwater drone kept up the hunt for the wreckage overnight.

Reuters contributed to this report