Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) revealed that the Boeing 737 Max 8 was declared "airworthy" and able to fly when used for Lion Air flight JT 043 and flight JT 610.

Head of KNKT`s Aviation Accident Investigation Subcommittee Nurcahyo Utomo, on Thursday, elaborated on the condition of the aircraft that crashed into the Java Sea on Oct 29 en route from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung Province.

According to Indonesia`s regulations, a plane was declared "airworthy" if a releaseman signed the Aircraft Flight Maintenance Log (AFML) document, he noted in a press statement made available to Antara here.

The aircraft`s airworthiness ended if the plane encountered difficulties during flight.

"After an aircraft landed, the pilot will report glitches found in the aircraft. Engineers then fixed them and tested the aircraft," he revealed.

"If the test conducted by engineers yielded a good result, the AFML document would be signed by a releaseman, and the aircraft was declared "airworthy," he remarked.

Utomo stated that a decision to continue cruising or flying or opt for an immediate landing lay in the hands of the pilot in command.

On Wednesday, Lion Air President Director Edward Sirait informed journalists that his airline company will send a letter to the KNKT for clarifying the preliminary report of its probe into the crash of JT 610.

"We find an incompatibility between the National Transportation Safety Committee`s preliminary report and news contents published by several local media," he pointed out.

Sirait pointed to media reports informing that the Lion Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea on Oct 29 had not been able to fly normally since taking off from the resort island of Bali to Jakarta on Oct 28.

"This statement is not true," he emphasized, adding that he would file a request seeking the KNKT`s clarification to unearth whether the statement was made by the committee`s credible sources.

If the KNKT failed to respond to Lion Air`s written clarification, the airline company will take legal action, he affirmed.

Lion Air has denied allegations that its aircraft had not been able to fly smoothly since its flight from Denpasar, Bali Island; the airline company had given false data; and it failed to effectively enforce a culture of safety.

The Lion Air flight JT 610 crashed into the Java Sea off Tanjung Karawang, West Java, 13 minutes after taking off from Cengkareng`s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 6:20 a.m. local time on its way to Pangkalpinang on Monday (Oct 29).

The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, carrying 189 people on board, reportedly lost contact at 6:33 a.m. local time.

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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