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The crash of a Boeing plane in Indonesia was unlikely the result of a design flaw: Expert

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 10 Jan 2021

<p><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5ff9a7d1bde805001980c08b-1334/2021-01-09T115036Z_1_LYNXMPEH08097_RTROPTP_4_INDONESIA-CRASH.JPG" border="0" alt="indonesia plane cras" data-mce-source="Willy Kurniawan/Reuters" data-mce-caption="Indonesian soldiers are seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after Sriwijaya Air plane lost contact after taking off, in Tangerang, near Jakarta, Indonesia, on January 9, 2021."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>On Saturday, a <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/indonesia-sriwijaya-air-boeing-737-missing-59-passengers-on-board-2021-1">Boeing plane</a> carrying 62 passengers disappeared minutes after take off and authorities say it is assumed to have <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/world/asia/indonesia-plane-crash.html">crashed into the Java Sea</a>.</p><p>The Indonesian Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 took off from Jakarta, Indonesia and was <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/indonesia-sriwijaya-air-boeing-737-missing-59-passengers-on-board-2021-1">carrying</a> 50 passengers and 12 crew members.</p><p>According to the flight tracker website FlightRadar24, the plane lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in under a minute. A local fisherman told <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55601909">BBC</a> that he witnessed the crash saying "The plane fell like lightning into the sea and exploded in the water."&nbsp; Some debris from the plane has been found in the water, according to Indonesian media reports.&nbsp;</p><p>The plane was a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500, part of the <a href="https://boeing.mediaroom.com/1999-12-09-Boeing-Rolls-Out-The-Last-Classic-737">"Classic" 737 series</a> which finished production in 1999. The cause of the crash is unclar.</p><p>Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at Teal Group, doesn't believe the crash was a the result of a design flaw with the model.&nbsp;</p><p>"This is not even the model before the Max, it has been in service for 30 years so it's unlikely to be a design fault," he <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-09/indonesia-says-it-has-lost-contact-with-sriwijaya-flight-182">told Bloomberg</a>. "Thousands of these planes have been built and production ended over 20 years ago, so something would have been discovered by now."</p><p>In an email to Insider, Aboulafia said that while 26-years of service exceeds the typical retirement age of many planes, it's not unusual for an aircraft that old to be flying.</p><p>"And it would be totally safe assuming the correct maintenance procedures were in place and enforced by local regulators," he wrote.</p><p>The suspected crash comes amid a few tough few years for Boeing.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/boeing-737-max-timeline-history-full-details-2019-9#the-fact-that-it-was-an-existing-already-certified-airframe-which-comprise-the-body-and-wings-of-the-plane-only-with-new-engines-and-avionics-it-meant-that-boeing-would-not-have-to-undergo-the-same-lengthy-certification-process-it-would-for-an-all-new-airplane-17">In October 2018</a> and in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/boeing-737-max-timeline-history-full-details-2019-9#the-fact-that-it-was-an-existing-already-certified-airframe-which-comprise-the-body-and-wings-of-the-plane-only-with-new-engines-and-avionics-it-meant-that-boeing-would-not-have-to-undergo-the-same-lengthy-certification-process-it-would-for-an-all-new-airplane-17">March 2019</a>, two Boeing 737 Max model planes crashed, killing a total of 364 people. The plane was ordered ground around the world while regulators and Boeing worked to fix what appeared to be a <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/boeing-737-max-timeline-history-full-details-2019-9#the-fact-that-it-was-an-existing-already-certified-airframe-which-comprise-the-body-and-wings-of-the-plane-only-with-new-engines-and-avionics-it-meant-that-boeing-would-not-have-to-undergo-the-same-lengthy-certification-process-it-would-for-an-all-new-airplane-17">fundamental design flaw with the model</a>. At the end of&nbsp;2020, following intense investigations, the Federal Aviation Administration cleared the 737 Max to fly again.</p><p>This week, Boeing agreed to pay a<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/boeing-fine-settlement-charges-defraud-faa-737-max-2021-1">$2.5 billion criminal penalty</a> to settle charges of fraud conspiracy related to its 737 Max scandal.&nbsp;</p><p>Boeing <a href="https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/12927/000001292721000003/a202001jan078kexhibit991.htm" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="100" data-uri="0a8b0a64fe1d1a659895b01d2429f7aa">CEO David Calhoun said </a>the resolution was the right choice for the company. "This resolution is a serious reminder to all of us hw critical our obligation of transparency to regulators is, and the consequences that our company can face if any of us falls short of those expectations."</p><p><strong>SEE ALSO:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/gab-reports-growth-in-the-midst-of-twitter-bans-2021-1" >Gab, a social networking site popular among the far right, seems to be capitalizing on Twitter bans and Parler's suspension from the Google store. It says its gaining 10,000 new users every hour.</a></strong></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/crash-of-a-26-year-old-boeing-airplane-in-indonesia-2021-1#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-most-expensive-liquid-thoroughbred-horse-semen-2020-3">Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid</a></p>
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