Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Lion Air Jet's Final Plunge May Have Reached 600 Miles Per Hour

  • Unofficial flight tracking data shows sharp speed increase
  • Indonesian airliner crashed Monday with 189 people aboard
Recovered wheels of Lion Air flight JT 610 on Nov. 2
Recovered wheels of Lion Air flight JT 610 on Nov. 2 Photographer: Adek Berry/AFP via Getty Images

The Lion Air jet that crashed off Indonesia on Monday nosed downward so abruptly that it may have hit speeds of 600 miles per hour or more before slamming into the sea, according to three experts who made calculations based on preliminary flight-tracking data.

The Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 dove with little or no turns and its nose was pointed about 45 degrees below the horizon shortly before the impact, an unusually steep dive for an airliner, according to the analysis of data provided by flight-tracking company FlightRadar24.