Deadly Sriwijaya Air Plane Crashes in Indonesia, Aviation Attorney Suspects Boeing After Comparison to Other Crashes

Sriwijaya Air Plane Crash

On Jan. 9, 2021, news outlets reported the disappearance of Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 near Jakarta, Indonesia. Search and rescue teams have since recovered human remains, plane parts, and one of the plane's two black boxes in the Java Sea. Officials are still searching for the second black box. Wilshire Law Firm's aviation accident attorneys are monitoring news of the crash, which joins numerous other deadly plane accidents involving Indonesian airlines and Boeing planes in recent years.

According to CNN, shortly after takeoff, the Boeing 737-500 plane dropped 10,000 square feet in under a minute and then became undetectable on radar. The plane — with registration PK-CLC (MSN 27323) — crashed in the Thousand Islands with 62 people onboard.

Another CNN article said the black box that was discovered was the flight data recorder, and it will take two to five days to retrieve the data. Officials are still searching for the second black box, the cockpit voice recorder.

"It's rather early to draw official conclusions, but absent an intentional downing or some other foul play, it is hard to imagine a plane essentially dropping like a rock shortly after takeoff — without the failure of some system or flight critical part," said Ilyas Akbari, Wilshire Law Firm's Director of Aviation Safety and Senior Partner, who is familiar with the region and aircraft. "These planes want to fly and it takes a lot to bring them down, so I'm suspicious. The black box data will be critical for uncovering the cause of the accident."

The Sriwijaya Air crash is the latest in a string of deadly plane accidents within the region. In 2007, the European Union added all 51 Indonesian airlines to its list of banned air carriers, including Sriwijaya Air. They were removed from the list in 2018.

While representing victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 — a Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed in 2019, killing all 157 people on board — Akbari found himself assisting with civil litigation for Lion Air Flight 610, a Max 8 plane that crashed into the Java Sea in Indonesia only five months prior, killing 189 people. Both accidents were litigated in Chicago and had eerily similar crash profiles. It was determined that Boeing purposefully did not disclose a flight critical system it had developed for its new MAX 8 planes in order to prevent the plane's propensity to "nose up" during takeoff and ascent, and this failure was the major cause of both crashes.

On January 8, 2021, Boeing agreed to pay over $2.5 billion to settle criminal charges with the U.S. government arising from the two MAX 8 crashes.

Akbari is a lawyer and bioengineer who has been listed by Southern California Super Lawyers® as a leading Aviation & Aerospace attorney since 2007. A member of the Aviation Trial Lawyers Association: Top 10, he litigates some of the most challenging aviation cases worldwide.

To learn more about the Sriwijaya Air crash and how Wilshire Law Firm can help, visit the firm's news updates page for the accident, or call (800) 4340-FLY or (888) 434-0359.

About Wilshire Law Firm

Founded in 2007, Wilshire Law Firm is an award-winning aviation injury, personal injury, employment law, and class action law firm. Ranked among the 2021 "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News & World Report, Wilshire Law Firm has recovered nearly $1 billion for clients. To learn more, visit


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