- Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia Monday morning.
- All 189 passengers and crew on board the flight are feared dead.
- Flight 610 is the deadliest crash involving a civilian airliner so far in 2018.
- It is also the first fatal crash of a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from the Jakarta, Indonesia Monday morning. with rescue and recovery efforts underway.
The plane involved in the crash was a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 that was just delivered to the airline in August. The MAX entered service in 2017 and is the latest version of Boeing’s hot-selling 737 passenger jet.
An Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane with army personnel and their families on board crashed in April, killing all 257 passengers and crew on board. It is the most serious crash so far this year. However, the aircraft was operated by the Algerian Air Force and is, thus, not considered a civilian incident.
Prior to Flight 610, the most serious incident of the year was Cubana Flight 972 which crashed on takeoff at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba. Of the 113 passengers and crew on board the aging Boeing 737-200, 112 died in the May crash.
February, Saratov Airlines Flight 703 crashed minutes after takeoff from Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport. All 71 passengers and crew on board the Ukrainian-built Antonov AN-148 perished in the crash.
A week later, Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704, an ATR-72 turboprop regional airliner, crashed into Mount Dena in Iran. All 66 passengers and crew died.
In March, US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211, a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 turboprop, crashed while landing in Kathmandu, Nepal. 52 of the 71 passengers and crew died.
In the US, the deadliest incident involving a US airline occurred in April when Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was forced to make an emergency landing after shrapnel from an uncontained engine failure punched the fuselage. Damage from the shrapnel caused a window to break open, nearly sucking a passenger out of the plane. Passengers Jennifer Riordan died from her injuries.
In spite of these incidents, 2018 has been a relatively good year for civil aviation. Especially if you consider the fact that more than 4.1 billion passengers around the world are expected to fly this year.