Indonesia plane that crashed clocked 132 flights over 3 weeks after 9 months in storage

It had already completed four flights earlier that fateful day of the crash.

Belmont Lay | January 15, 2021, 03:48 AM

The ill-fated Indonesia plane, Sriwijaya Air flight 182, which crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, had conducted 132 flights over three weeks after it was left in storage for nine months.

These details came to light as reported by The New York Times.

Left in hangar for several months

According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation, Sriwijaya Air flight 182 had been in a hangar for most of 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

In total, it had been out of service for nine months.

The Boeing 737-500 that crashed was put in a hangar on March 23.

After the plane resumed service on Dec. 19, 2020, it was flown from storage in Surabaya to Jakarta, the capital.

It resumed passenger service the very next day, according to data from the tracking site Flightradar24, NYT reported.

In total, before the crash, the plane had conducted 132 flights since it left storage.

NYT called the process of being idle as "mothballing".

On the day of the crash itself, the plane was flying during a heavy storm and had completed four other flights earlier in the day.

Planes and pilot need to fly to remain operational

The Ministry of Transportation said it inspected the plane on Dec. 14 and issued a new certificate of airworthiness on Dec. 17.

The Boeing 737-500 was 26 years old.

However, the effect of such a hiatus on the plane is unknown.

NYT quoted an air safety consulting firm CEO saying that planes need to be kept operating, otherwise they deteriorate.

Moreover, pilots may not have been flying actively during the downturn.

Captain Afwan, the pilot in command of Sriwijaya Air flight 182, reportedly spent much of his time in flight simulator sessions to maintain his skills during the pandemic.


Sriwijaya Air flight 182 crashed just four minutes after takeoff from Jakarta.

The plane hit the water relatively intact, as the pattern of debris suggested.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee said Tuesday that it did not explode before crashing.

It plunged more than 10,000 feet in under a minute.

The plane was bound for the city of Pontianak, on the island of Borneo.

The quick trip was to last a little over 90 minutes.

Navy divers have recovered the plane’s flight data recorder on Jan. 12, one of two so-called black boxes.

The search carries on for second black box — a cockpit voice recorder.

Top photo via