Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ-182 : What we know so far
The Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500, registration PK-CLC was performing flight SJ-182 from Jakarta to Pontianak, Indonesia with 56 passengers and 6 crew on board.
The aircraft was climbing out of Jakarta about 11nm north of Jakarta's Sokarno International Airport over the Java Sea when radar and radio contact was lost with the aircraft.
Sriwijaya Air is an Indonesian airline based in Soekarno–Hatta International Airport that commenced operations in 2003. With a fleet of 18 Boeing aircraft, it’s the third-largest airline in the country operating to over 15 destinations.
This is the first major air disaster involving the airline. In the past, there were three accidents involving the Sriwijaya Air aircraft veering off the runway.
The Boeing 737-500:
The aircraft involved in the crash is a 26 year old Boeing 737-500 with the registration PK-CLC. The 737 classic involves -300, -400, and -500 series. The classic series was introduced in 1984 as the second generation of the 737-100/200 series. The -500 series has the smallest dimensions of the 737 Classic series.
The production of the classic series lasted from 1981 to 2000. PK-CLC was operated by two airlines in the United States before being used by Sriwijaya Air.
Flight SJ182 was due to depart at 13:40 local time however the flight was delayed by 30 minutes due to poor visibility with heavy rainfall and low clouds due to a thunderstorm in the vicinity.
The 737 departed from runway 35R at 14:35 (07:35 UTC). After departure, the aircraft made a climbing right turn and was cleared to climb to FL290. The aircraft reached an altitude of about FL110 before entering a rapid descent.
The aircraft was climbing through 10,600 feet at 284 knots over the ground at 07:39:50Z about 11nm north of Soekarno Airport and was at 07:40:11Z at 1400 feet at 307 knots over the ground about 1.6nm north-northeast of that position. This means that the aircraft had gone down with an average sink rate of 26,300 fpm
The last position was recorded at 14:40 UTC over the water of the Java Sea, some 19 km from the airport and 7 km north of the shore.
Over 28 ships, five helicopters, and two airplanes are being deployed in a joint effort between the Indonesian Navy, Police, Coast Guard, and Transportation Ministry.
Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) said it had found several pieces of debris believed to be from the missing plane but bad weather and poor visibility had hampered the search overnight.
It is yet to be confirmed that the debris found is from the aircraft. The ELT transmitters of the aircraft did not transmit any signals.
Two boats belonging to residents of the islands nearby were out on the sea when they heard two explosions and later found debris afloat at the sea.
One of the boats returned to the islands about 2 hours later and reported to the authorities. The other boat is remained at the scene holding position using an anchor until rescuers arrive. The residents have so far recovered seats, cables, pockets, and jeans.
The water is about 15 to 16 meters deep where the aircraft is believed to have crashed.
Indonesia's KNKT (National Transportation Safety Commission) has opened an investigation and begin their search for the black boxes on Sunday (Jan 10th, 2021).
"We sent two investigators with the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency to the sea to do a location survey. We need to find more information on the location, for example, to determine what gear we are going to use regarding the underwater terrain we have," - Suryanto Cahyono
Source: Avherald, Aviation-Safety, CNN