National Post (Latest Edition)

COVID GROUNDED DOOMED JETLINER FOR MONTHS

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The Boeing 737-500 that crashed into the sea off Jakarta with 62 people on board last Saturday spent nearly nine months out of service last year because of the pandemic. While officials have not yet commented on the cause of the crash, experts are speculatin­g that it may be due to technical faults caused by the plane’s lack of regular use. “There’s a major problem starting to raise its head in terms of restoring these aircraft because while out of service for nine or 10 months, they need to be kept operating, otherwise they deteriorat­e,” said hugh ritchie, of Aviation Analysts Internatio­nal, an Australian air safety consulting firm. The plane did not fly between March 23 and dec. 19, and was then used 132 times after it resumed operating, according to Flightrada­r24. The exact cause of the crash is still unknown. On Tuesday, Indonesian navy divers recovered the flight data recorder. Officials believe the cockpit voice recorder nearby. Local officials have said the plane passed safety inspection checks on dec. 2 and was declared airworthy on dec. 14.

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