Our Vice President, Mr Michael Daniel, spoke to CNA regarding the recent crash of a Sriwijaya Air B737-500. Do check out the clip below or use the following link for the interview recorded 12 January 2021:
In the clip, Mr Daniel shares that the rapid descent of the aircraft is a good indicator of Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I), which is further supported by the small radius within which pieces of the downed aircraft were found. He also shared that the lack of any transmissions received by air traffic control potentially indicates that whatever happened likely occurred in a “catastrophic” manner, resulting in the inability to “convey any emergency to air traffic [control]”.
When asked about the recent airworthiness certification the aircraft received (it was certified airworthy on Dec 17 2020), he mentioned that it will be something that the investigators would want to look into, especially as the aircraft was manufactured back in 1994, qualifying it as an “aging aircraft” and further scrutiny should be put on the aircraft despite the airworthiness certification. Emphasis should also be put on the flight data recorder (sometimes known as the ‘black box’) as well as the cockpit voice recorder, which “may be able to give some information and dialogue… between pilots and air traffic [control]” as only aircraft sensor data is recorded on the flight data recorder.
Mr Daniel also shared that only time will tell whether Sriwijaya Air could financially recover from this incident, as there may be financial stress resulting from a previous joint venture with and eventual separation from other airlines. He added that another consideration at the moment would be the recovery of the victims and providing closure for families.
He was then asked about how closely Boeing, manufacturer of the downed aircraft, would be monitoring the situation, given their recent scandal involving the 737-MAX (the aircraft in question is the 737-500, a much older model). Mr Daniel shared that a team was ready and possibly enroute at the point of the interview, but may be delayed upon arrival due to COVID-19 handling procedures. He added that Boeing would play a role in the investigation, given that they manufactured the downed plane, as well as in terms of providing information to the authorities conducting the investigation. A preliminary report should be issued within 30 days.