By SM.29 Oct, 2018
JAKARTA: The pilot of an Indonesian plane that crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta was an Indian national. Bhavye Suneja, 31, was a Delhi resident. He joined the Indonesian carrier, Lion Air, seven years ago.
The aircraft was commanded by Captain Suneja and co-pilot Harvino with six cabin crew members. The 31-year-old captain has 6,000 flight hours and the co-pilot more than 5,000 flight hours, the airline said in a statement.
Captain Suneja was a resident of Jakarta. He attended Ahlcon Public School in Delhi"s Mayur Vihar area.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 carrying 189 people is believed to have sunk after crashing into the sea soon after take-off. Indonesia"s search and rescue agency said the ground controllers lost contact with the plane 13 minutes after take-off, and a tug boat leaving the capital"s port saw it fall into the sea.
Suneja"s LinkedIn profile mentions that he completed pilot training from Bel Air International. He worked as a trainee pilot with Emirates for a few months before joining Lion Air. He specialised in flying Boeing 737 passenger jets.
Authorities in Indonesia have said they have not received any report of survivors in the accident, adding they hadn"t received any emergency message from the aircraft before the crash.
Muhmmad Syaugi, Indonesia"s search and rescue agency chief, said items like headphones and life vests were found in water about 30 metres to 35 metres (98 to 115 ft) deep near where the plane lost contact with the air traffic controller.
"We are there already, our vessels, our helicopter is hovering above the waters, to assist," Syaugi said. "We are trying to dive down to find the wreck."
The top priority for investigators will be finding the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder to help determine the cause, a media report said, quoting safety experts.
The chief executive of Lion Air Group, Edward Sirtait, didn"t comment on what the reason for the accident might be. "We don"t dare to say what the facts are, or are not, yet. We are also confused about the why, since it was a new plane," he told Reuters.