(CMR) Concerns are mounting in Cayman as people are beginning to realize that a fatal Indonesia plane crash used the same plane that Cayman Airways Ltd. is replacing it's aging fleet with – the Boeing-737 MAX 8.
Several posters on social media quickly made the connection and with one person noting:
“Yes according to the flight tracker data they seem to have lost altitude leveled off gained speed but then lost altitude and disappeared, seems technical .”
It was also mentioned on the popular Star 92.7 Morning show by John Watler AKA DJ Selecta Renegade who admitted to being fearful of flying. He commented on the similarities between this flight distance and that of the flights to Miami. He took solace in the fact that CAL has an impeccable record and “the best pilots and mechanics”.
It is reported that the commercial Lion Air plane that plummeted into the Java Sea with almost 200 people on board had a technical problem on a previous flight, the company’s chief executive revealed.
The ill-fated aircraft, which plunged into the sea from 5,000ft minutes after take-off from Jakarta, was delivered to Lion Air in mid-August and put in use within days, according to aviation website Flightradar24. The incident occurred minutes after departing at 6:20 am for an hour long flight. The Boeing 737-800 was cleared to return to its departure airport after making a request just two or three minutes after take-off, before the crew of a tug boat nearby told authorities they saw it falling from the sky.
The doomed Lion Air jet was brand new and had logged only 800 hours of flight time, according to the head of the National Transportation Safety Commission, Soerjanto Tjahjano.
All 189 persons on board have perished. Twenty ministry officials who were returning to their posts in Pangkal Pinang after spending the weekend with their families in Jakarta, were on board Lion Air flight JT 610 when it crashed, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Monday.
In an ironic twist of almost titanic proportions this plane has been dubbed ‘short haul plane of the future' and the ‘new darling of the aviation world'. It was leased from China Minsheng Investment Group Leasing Holdings Ltd., according to the official China News Service.
Malindo Air, a Malaysian subsidiary of Jakarta-based Lion Air, was the first airline to begin using the 737 MAX 8 last year.
The model replaced the similar 800 in the Chicago-based plane maker's product line and has been ordered by carriers including American Airlines, United Airlines, Norwegian and FlyDubai.
Many consider the 737 MAX 8, with a range of 3,550 nautical miles and top speed of 530mph, the darling of the aviation industry thanks in part to its suitability for the increasingly popular short-haul market.
Boeing says the 737 MAX series is the fastest-selling airplane in its history, with almost 4,700 orders. CAL has ordered at least 4 of these planes with one arriving early next month.
The Australian government has advised its officials and contractors against flying Indonesia’s Lion Air, an Australian government official told CNN. The Australian government says the decision will be reviewed once findings of the crash investigation are clear.