Indonesia’s Lion Air has been involved in another embarrassing safety incident, with a plane carrying 145 passengers forced to abort its takeoff from Fatmawati airport after its left wing was sheared by striking a pole.
Flight JT633 was scheduled to leave the airport in south-western Sumatra for Jakarta at 6.20pm on Wednesday, but the left wing of the aircraft hit a pole in front of the airport’s VIP building as it was starting to taxi to the runway.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the Bengkulu incident and the passengers were transferred to another flight that left later in the evening.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Transport said on Thursday that it would be investigating the cause of the incident.
The 2010-built aircraft and its pilots have been grounded while investigations are ongoing.
Lion Air flight #JT633 (PK-LGY) has struck a pole at Bengkulu-Fatmawati Soekarno Airport, Indonesia damaging its left-hand wing. All passengers disembarked safely. https://t.co/QeSPiM3FPz pic.twitter.com/NcNRZC2ONF
— Breaking Aviation News (@breakingavnews) November 7, 2018
The incident, which gained wide coverage on social media via Facebook user Irsan Hidayat, was another public relations nightmare for the low-cost airline.
Several passengers were seen on the tarmac with their belongings after the incident.
Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER (PK-LGY, built 2010) took minor wing damage when it hits a light post during taxi at Bengkulu Airport (BKS, WIGG), Indonesia. There were no injuries among the 143+7 on board flight #JT633 to Jakarta. https://t.co/5TQe2KNGhH pic.twitter.com/v9lmQPMoP7
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) November 7, 2018
It comes after investigations continued into Lion Air’s doomed Flight JT610, which killed all 189 people aboard when it plummeted into the Java Sea on October 29.
Virgin Australia on Thursday said it will adhere to any safety recommendations arising from the Indonesian investigation into last week’s fatal crash.
Boeing and US aviation authorities have issued global safety warnings to airlines following the crash of the 737 Max 8 aircraft.
Virgin has placed an order for 30 of the fuel-efficient 737 Max 8 aircraft, which are due for delivery in November 2019, to replace its 737-700/800 planes.