Indonesian Lion Air passenger Flight JT610 missing

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

Yusuf Latief, spokesman of national search and rescue agency, said there were likely no survivors.

He only learned about the crash after the flight he subsequently landed in Pangkal Pinang.

Indonesian rescue team members have retrieved body parts from the water where a plane crashed.

The deadly crash of a Lion Air jet in the Java Sea has renewed questions about the safety of Indonesian airlines, not long after United States and European regulators removed prohibitions against them.

Favourable weather conditions enabled divers and other search and rescue personnel to recover the personal belongings of some passengers and locate the tail section of the Boeing 737 Max plane.

OFFICIALS are still urgently working to find out if any Australians were onboard an Indonesian plane which crashed into the sea.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 literally fell out of the sky near where the two men were fishing about 15 km (9 miles) off the coast, silently at first and then with a deafening crash as it smacked into the sea.

Lion Air's President Edward Sirait said the plane was "airworthy" and that the pilot had carried out all pre-flight inspections according to procedure. The plane went down in waters about 30 meters to 35 meters deep.

A Mandala Airlines domestic flight crashed shortly after take-off in 2005 into a densely populated suburb in Medan, a city of two million on the island of Sumatra, killing at least 150 including passengers, crew and people on the ground.

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

Lion Air's plane was nearly brand new.

He said it is hard to pin a specific accident on the safety culture, but that global regulators will be closely watching the investigation into Flight 610, which will look for clues from the plane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.

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

The last fatal air crash was in August when a small Pilatus Porter light plane of Dimonim Air crashed in the mountainous area of Papua province, killing eight people on board with a 12-year-old boy as the sole survivor.

A year earlier poor maintenance and inadequate pilot response was blamed for an AirAsia plane crash which cost 162 lives.

A Lion Air commercial plane photographed on October 7, 2018.

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. 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 year ago one of its Boeing jets collided with a Wings Air plane as it landed at Kualanamu airport on the island of Sumatra, although no one was injured.

It was granted, but the plane never made it back to the airport as it crashed into the sea about 10 minutes later.

In 2013, one of its Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities among the 108 people on board. Several people were injured in the crash, although no one was killed.

Traffic on the world's airlines - measured in the number of miles or kilometres flown by passengers - jumped 8.1 per cent past year, the fastest rate of growth since 2005, according to the International Air Transport Association, a trade group for the industry.

Indonesia's notorious traffic jams have elicited curses from many who been stuck for hours in the sweltering heat.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, the airline was added to the European Union's blacklist of banned carriers in July 2007, and removed from the list in June 2016.

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