The Boeing 737-500 belonging to the Indonesia-based airline that went missing today shortly after take-off lost up to 10,000 feet in altitude within a minute, according to flight-tracking service Flightradar24. The highest altitude the aircraft reached was 10,900 feet, while the last altitude it recorded was 250 feet.
The Sriwijaya Air plane took off from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and was headed to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province, local media reported. Flight SJ182 began to lose altitude around four minutes after take-off, Flightradar24 reported.
The plane was operated by a Boeing 737-500 “classic” with registration number PK-CLC (MSN 27323). The plane’s first recorded flight was in May 1994, making it some 26 years old.
The signal from the flight was lost at 07:40:27 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), according to Flightradar24. This is around 12.40pm in India.
It was unclear how many passengers and crew were aboard the Boeing 737-500 when it took off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta international airport, although it has a capacity of about 130. The flight time between Jakarta and Pontianak is usually 90 minutes.
In October 2018, nearly 190 people were killed when a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet slammed into the Java Sea about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta on a routine one-hour flight. That crash – and a subsequent fatal flight in Ethiopia – saw Boeing hit with $2.5 billion in fines over claims it defrauded regulators overseeing the 737 MAX model, which was grounded worldwide following the two deadly crashes.