TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Director of AirNav Indonesia Pramintohadi Sukarno in a House of Representatives (DPR) hearing today revealed the final minutes of communication with Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 before the aircraft suddenly fell from the skies to the waters of Kepulauan Seribu [thousand islands].
According to Sukarno, Flight SJ182 departed from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at 14:36 WIB on January 9, 2021, carrying 62 people consisting of passengers and airline crews to head to Pontianak.
The aircraft passed the altitude of 1,700 feet one minute after takeoff and was instructed by the Soekarno-Hatta ATC to increase altitude to 29,000 feet in the 79 Mhz radio frequency. One minute after at 14:38 WIB, the pilots took the plane to the altitude of 7,900 feet.
The pilots had requested the ATC to the position of 075 degrees due to weather, which was authorized by ATC and followed by instructing Flight SJ182 to the altitude of 11,000 feet.
According to Praminto, the aircraft was guided to that height to avoid the AirAsia flight that was flying at the same altitude and also on the same Jakarta-Pontianak route. The pilots responded to the ATC’s altitude change order by answering “clear” on radio communications.
Not long after as the plane reached the altitude of 10,600 feet, ATC ordered pilots to increase it to 13,000 feet and was still responded by the Sriwijaya Air pilots. Just 3 minutes into the flight, ATC received no distress call or reports from the pilots.
However, at 14:40 WIB, or four minutes after takeoff, ATC radar detected flight SJ182 making a left turn maneuver which is a different course from what the ATC had ordered.
“The plane should have turned left 075 degrees,” Praminto revealed.
This was the time ATC attempted to contact the flight deck of Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 to no avail. Praminto said controllers called-in 11 times, which was also assisted by Garuda Indonesia pilots on the air, but with no responses from the pilots. This is the known moment that the flight had seemingly dropped from the sky and tragically slammed to the shallow ocean.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA