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Disturbing tales of crashed plane as official ban issued

October 31, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

As reports surface of strange problems on a previous flight by the Lion Air plane that crashed on Monday, Australian government officials and contractors in Indonesia have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air or its subsidiary airlines that operate outside Australia.

Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea on Monday, killing everyone aboard. See: Plane in deadly Lion Air crash was brand new

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), confirmed yesterday that the decision would be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation become clear.

In the meantime, DFAT said Australian travellers to Indonesia should make their own decisions on which airlines to fly with.

The New York Times reported that before Lion Air flight JT610 lost contact on Monday, the plane displayed erratic changes in its speed, altitude and direction.

Two passengers on the doomed plane’s previous flight from Bali to Jakarta, which landed safely, have described numerous issues with the aircraft that caused frustration and alarm.

USA Today described a detailed post online in which Indonesian TV presenter Conchita Caroline said boarding the flight on Sunday was delayed by more than an hour, leading to passengers sitting in the cabin without air conditioning for at least half an hour listening to an “unusual” engine roar, while some children vomited from the overbearing heat.

Finally, staff relented and let passengers disembark, the report said. They then waited on tarmac for about half an hour before boarding again while an engine was checked.

Another passenger on the earlier flight told TVOne the plane dropped suddenly several times in the first few minutes.

“About three to eight minutes after it took off, I felt like the plane was losing power and unable to rise. That happened several times during the flight,” the passenger said. “We felt like in a roller coaster. Some passengers began to panic and vomit.”

USA Today has backed that by reporting that data from flight-tracking sites show erratic speed, altitude and direction in the minutes after takeoff – both on the earlier flight and on Monday’s fatal flight.

A better picture will be gained from the planes “black box” flight recorders, which should soon be recovered.

The plane was brand new, having been delivered in August.

Lion Air’s president Edward Sirait was quoted as saying he knew of reports of technical problems with the flight from Bali but they had been resolved in accordance with procedures issued by the plane factory.

Written by Peter Needham

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