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According to the aircraft surveillance service, it lost more than 10,000 feet per minute within four minutes of takeoff.

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A Boeing jet carrying 62 people with air traffic controllers in Indonesia on Saturday is believed to have contained debris from a plane found in the Java Sea after it quickly lost altitude.

Srivijaya Air Flight 182, operated with a Boeing 737-500, took off from Jakarta at 1:56 pm local time and lost contact with the control tower at 2:40 pm, Indonesian Transport Ministry spokeswoman Adita Ravati said.

The incident comes a day after the Ukrainian International Airlines plane with 176 people on board was shot down on board in Iran, one of two major plane crashes in 2020. It comes two years after the Boeing 737 Max crash in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

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Here is what we know:

What is Srivijaya Air?

Srivijaya Air, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, began flying in 2003, typically carrying 1 million passengers a month, according to the airline’s website. It is a discounted carrier with low fares and fees, across the border in La La Spirit, Allegheny and the United States.

The airline mostly flies routes into Indonesia, but has limited international service to Malaysia and China, according to airline data firm Syria. The flight from Jakarta to the island of Borneo on Saturday was an hour’s flight away.

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The airline is Indonesia’s fifth largest airline based in Syria, accounting for 10% of Indonesia’s flights last year. Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest carrier.

Srivijaya Air plans to operate 4,300 flights this month, compared to 26,000 for Lion Air, Syria said. In comparison, Southwest Airlines, the largest domestic airline in the United States, has 62,000 flights scheduled for January.

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American Airlines flew a Boeing 737 Max from Miami to New York on Tuesday, making it the first commercial aircraft to fly in American skies since landing after two fatal crashes. (Dec.29)

AP Domestic

Plane Boeing 737 Max?

On Saturday, Srivijaya Flight 182 was a Boeing 737-500.

It was part of the aircraft manufacturer’s 737 “Classic” line, which, according to Boeing, ended production in December 1999.

Southwest Airlines, which flies only Boeing jets, was the launch site customer for the 737-500, ordering 20 jets in 1987 and receiving its first distribution in 1990. Southwest retired its last 737-500 2016.

The plane involved in the incident was reportedly delivered to Srivijaya in 2012 PlaneSpotters.net.

The plane was 26 years old, formerly in Continental Airlines’ fleet, and later, affiliated with partner United Airlines, the website said.

Boeing has been in a state of abrasion for some years now, with 376 people killed in two accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max. The aircraft landed in March 2019 by the Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation regulatory authorities, and was only recently issued a re-flight certificate.

This week, Boeing settled criminal charges brought by the U.S. judiciary for defrauding the FAA.

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“Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit by hiding material information from the FAA about the operation of its 737 Max aircraft and trying to cover up their disappointment,” the DOJ said.

Boeing is paying more than $ 2.5 billion, including $ 243.6 million in fines, $ 1.77 billion in compensation to 737 Max airline customers and $ 500 million in funding for affected beneficiaries.

Max was not at the center of the crash on the plane in the Srivijaya crash. Like previous versions of the 737, Max added Boeing software to the aircraft’s flight system so that it could be felt by pilots. This was called the manipulative properties multiplication system or MCAS, and it had severe shortcomings. In both crashes, the pilots wrestled to keep their plane high as the MCAS repeatedly pushed their noses down. They were unable to disable this system, which eventually sent them to irretrievable dives.

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The plane is 26 years old. Isn’t that primitive?

Anthony Brickhouse, an aeronautical researcher at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Daytona Beach in Florida and an associate professor of space defense, said the first thing he was surprised about when he heard about the missing jet was the 737 Max Thana.

From that factor equation, he said, investigators will focus on three broad areas when trying to find out what happened to Srivijaya Flight 182: the human organ, the aircraft and the environment, especially the weather, on the day of the flight.

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The Boeing 737-500 will be on the table, but no one will take it for granted.

“Just because an airplane is 26 does not automatically mean it is unsafe,” Brickhouse said.

Passengers in the United States consider the 26-year-old aircraft obsolete because airlines are constantly updating their fleets. For example, Florida-based Spirit Airlines continues to boast that its average flight age is 5.6 years.

But the age of an aircraft is not the best measure of its lifespan, and the number of departures and landings and flight times are very important, Brickhouse said.

“The age of the plane doesn’t have to tell us much,” Brickhouse said. It goes deeper than that. “

Another factor to consider in this case is Indonesia’s relatively poor record on aviation security.

“Over the last 15 years or so with different airlines they have certainly faced some major security challenges,” Brickhouse said.

Contributed by: Chris Woodyard, The Associated Press

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