Indonesia ordered Lion Air to fire its technical director and started an audit of the carrier’s maintenance facility after one of its aircraft crashed in the Java Sea off Jakarta, taking down 189 passengers and crew.
The airline also dismissed an engineer who cleared the ill-fated flight JT610 even after the pilots had reported technical issues with the aircraft during a trip a day before the crash. The removals were ordered on the recommendations from the National Transport Safety Board, the Transport Ministry said in a statement in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Divers have zeroed in on what’s likely to be the main wreckage of the plane as Indonesia probes the reasons for the nation’s worst air disaster since 1997. The crashed Boeing 737 plane had a technical issue with its airspeed and altitude readings during its previous flight from Bali to Jakarta, but it was fixed by the airline, according to Lion Air’s spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro.
Click here to read about litany of fatal plane crashes in Indonesia
The government will impose “strict sanctions” on Lion Air if a probe by the safety board proves negligence on the part of the airline, the ministry said.
A special inspection of the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes ordered by Indonesia after the crash showed no technical issues with the jets operated by Lion Air and PT Garuda Indonesia, the ministry said. The National Transport Safety Board found all the 11 aircraft in service as airworthy, it said.
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