All 189 on board crashed Indonesian plane feared dead

Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang goes missing 13 minutes after take-off search underway

"At 06.22 the pilot contacted Jakarta Control and conveyed a problem with flight control when flying at an altitude of 1,700 feet and asked to rise to an altitude of 5,000 feet", said Haryo Satmiko, Deputy Chairperson of the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT).

An undergarment floats in the area where a Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the most recent model of Boeing's famous 737, the US company's best-selling plane, and is a popular choice among budget airlines around the world.

Director of Operations at the National Search and Rescue Agency Brigadier General Bambang Suryo Aji said that the prediction was based on the condition of the body parts recovered from the surface of the waters.

Sony, who left Bandung for the Lion Air flight, was stuck in traffic and arrived at Soekarno Hatta airport at 06:20 Western Indonesia Time (WIB), the scheduled departure of the plane.

"The Australian embassy in Jakarta continues to make urgent enquiries with local authorities to determine if any Australians were on board the flight", a DFAT spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The accident is the first to be reported that involves the widely-sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer's workhorse single-aisle jet.

Lion Air became the first airline to get a 737 Max, in May 2017, and has received 13 of the 201 Max planes that Boeing has delivered, according to the Boeing website.

The waters where the jet went down are up to 100ft deep.

Knowing that his plane had departed, Sony chose to book a seat from Sriwijaya Air with the same route as that of Lion Air JT 610, which already carried six of his fellow co-workers.

Indian pilot Bhavye Suneja captained the ill-fated Indonesian plane which crashed into the sea on Monday with 188 passengers and crew on board while en-route to Pangkal pinang city, the airline said.

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The flight carried 178 adults, 1 child and 2 infants, including 3 crew under training and 1 technician, the airline said in a statement.

Suneja has 6,000 flight hours and the co-pilot more than 5,000 flight hours, the airline said in a statement.

Rescue teams search for survivors from the Lion Air flight JT 610.

"We hope the black box is not far from the main wreckage so it can be found soon".

However, six other Lion Air jets, including one that crash-landed in the water short of the runway at the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2013, were damaged beyond fix in various accidents, according to Aviation Safety Network.

A 12-year-old boy was the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed eight people in mountainous eastern Indonesia in August. Boeing has taken almost 4800 orders for the plane, including 201 from Lion Air..

A year earlier poor maintenance and the pilots' inadequate response was blamed for the crash of an AirAsia plane crashed with the loss of 162 lives. It has had reputation issues concerning delaying flights, s poor safety record, and reports of its pilots being arrested by police for using drugs.

A growing middle class and affordable fares have led to a boom in air travel in Asia, putting pressure on airlines, government overseers and infrastructure to keep up.

Lion, a low-priced airline which has engaged in a huge expansion in recent years, has been involved in a number of incidents including a fatal 2004 crash and a collision between two Lion Air planes at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport.

Lion Air Boeing 737 removed from the sea after a crash near Denpasar on April 17, 2013.

Previous year the Indonesian air traffic controllers association revealed that the rate of take-off and landings in Jakarta allowed by state-run air navigation company AirNav was more than the airport could handle, increasing the chance of accidents. This past June, European regulators - who had already allowed Lion Air and a few other Indonesian carriers to resume flying to Europe - lifted theirs on remaining Indonesia airlines.

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