Travelrisk: Air France Boeing 777 didn’t react to commands on final approach to Paris CDG

Pilots of Air France #AF11 reported their Boeing 777 didn’t react to commands on final approach to Paris CDG

Pilots of AF11 had a serious issue with commands on final approach to Paris.

The crew of AF11 from New York JFK to Paris CDG had to deal a serious issue at very low altitude this morning Tuesday 5 March 2022.

  • UPDATE The BEA opens a safety investigation regarding Air France #AF11 Boeing 777-300 incident yesterday, CVR and FDR data are currently analyzed.

The Boeing 777 (reg. F-GSQJ) was on approach to runway 26L when the crew reported an issue.

The plane didn’t respond to the commands and started to deviate to its left. Pilots could not talk to the ATC as they were dealing with the issue. We can hear them fighting with the commands in the following video.

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They finally managed to go around at only 1,200 ft then hold 4,000ft and returned to Paris CDG for a safe landing on runway 27R.

Listen to recording on YouTube.

Reported by Air Live on 5 March 2022.

TravelRisk – Government Sanctions leave Visitors Stranded

Thousands of Russians scramble to leave Thailand as sanctions hit

International tourists, predominantly Russian nationals, visit a beach on Phuket island on March 20, 2020. More than 5,000 Russian tourists have found themselves stranded in Thailand, as international sanctions following the war in Ukraine hit worried holidaymakers. (AFP file photo)

More than 5,000 Russian tourists have found themselves stranded in Thailand, as international sanctions following the war in Ukraine hit worried holidaymakers.

Thousands of Russian tourists in Thailand are struggling to find a route home, officials said Sunday, as international sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine hit holidaymakers.

Russia’s invasion in February provoked a host of international measures targeting businesses and banks, with some Russian carriers cancelling flights and global payment firms suspending services.

Russians tourists have been among the largest group of visitors to return to Thailand’s beachside resorts since pandemic restrictions eased, but many now find themselves without a return ticket.

Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said 3,100 Russians were stuck in Phuket, while just over 2,000 were in Samui, and smaller numbers were in Krabi, Phangnga and Bangkok.

The agency was working on helping those who wanted to return home, he said, including “discussion on return flights which could be regular or special flights”.

Russian tourist and mother-of-three Evgenia Gozorskaia said her family discovered their return Aeroflot tickets had been cancelled.

“We are very nervous because the children are very small, we don’t have enough money to live here,” said the 41-year-old psychologist who arrived from Moscow with her husband and children — aged seven, four and two — on Feb 27.

“We want to go tomorrow to the airport, but I don’t know what the situation will be,” she said from Phuket, adding that they were supposed to fly home March 28.

She said while some people had their tickets replaced others — including her family — had not been so lucky.

“They say that they cannot do it and put the phone off,” she said.

While Thailand has not banned Russian flights, international airspace restrictions have seen some firms — such as Russia’s flagship Aeroflot — cancelling services, leaving tourists to seek alternative routes, such as through the Middle East with different carriers.

Many tourists have also been hit by Visa and Mastercard suspending operations.

“We have seen instances of difficulty in card payments by Russians in Phuket due to how Mastercard and Visa have suspended services in Russia,” said Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association.

He said officials were considering adopting the Mir system — a Russian electronic fund transfer structure — as well as digital currencies.

Local communities across Thailand were also stepping in.

“We will pay for water, electric, everything for them,” said Archimandrite Oleg, representative of the Orthodox Church in Thailand, who said they were helping at least one family with four children stranded in Koh Samui.

Pandemic travel curbs have hammered the kingdom’s tourism-dominated economy, but 2022 saw a surge of visitors as restrictions eased.

Around 23,000 Russians travelled to Thailand in January this year, according to the TAT.

Tourists from Russia previously accounted for the seventh-largest share of visitors to the kingdom, with around 1.5 million travelling to Thailand in 2019.

While Bangkok has backed a United Nations resolution calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, it has stopped short of imposing sanctions.

Reported on 13 March 2022 by Bangkok Post.

Travelrisk from Bee impacts aircraft velocity measurement resulting in rejected takeoff

Incident: TAAG B737 at Maputo on Feb 9th 2022, rejected takeoff due to bee in pitot tube

A TAAG Angola Airlines Boeing 737-700, registration D2-TBJ performing flight DT-582 from Maputo (Mozambique) to Luanda (Angola), was accelerating for takeoff from Maputo’s runway 05 when the crew rejected takeoff at about 80 KIAS due to an airspeed disagree between captain’s and first officer’s instruments. The aircraft slowed safely and returned to the apron.

The airline reported a bee was found in one of the pitot tubes forcing the crew to reject takeoff. The passengers disembarked and were taken to a hotel. The aircraft was handed to maintenance to return it into an airworthy condition and was returned to service.

The aircraft departed again the following day after about 28 hours on the ground and reached Luanda with a delay of 28:15 hours.

A pitot tube, also known as pitot probe, is a flow measurement device used to measure fluid flow velocity.

Reported by The Aviation Herald on 12 February 2022.

TravelRisk live snake on Air Asia flight in Malaysia

Air Asia’s slogan “Now Everyone Can Fly” took a new dimension on Air Asia flight AK-5748 when a snake appeared on the flight.

On 10 February 2022, an Air Asia Airbus A320-200, registration 9M-RAN performing flight AK-5748 from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Tawau (TWU) in Malaysia, was enroute at FL330 over the South China Sea about 250nm westnorthwest of Kuching (Malaysia) when a snake appeared in the overhead lockers in the passenger cabin. The crew diverted the aircraft to Kuching for a safe landing about 45 minutes later.

A replacement A320-200N continued the flight and reached Tawau with a delay of about 5:50 hours.

The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground in Kuching about 28 hours after landing.

Video posted on YouTube shows the outline of a small snake in the structure of the overhead lockers, above passenger heads.

The Airbus A320-216(WL), with tail number 9M-RAN was put it to service in May 2019 and belongs to lessor Castlelake.
Reported by The Aviation Herald on 11 February 2022.

TravelRisk Emirates Boeing 777 accelerating for take off without Air Traffic Control Clearance Instructed to Reject Takeoff

Another incident at Emirates in Dubai, this time a Boeing 777 passenger flight bound for India was accelerating for take off at Dubai – without air traffic control clearance – meanwhile another Emirates jet was crossing runway at the same time.

Incident: Emirates B773 at Dubai on Jan 9th 2022, rejected takeoff without clearance due to crossing aircraft

An Emirates Boeing 777-300, registration A6-EQA performing flight EK-524 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Hyderabad (India), was accelerating for takeoff from Dubai’s runway 30R when the crew was instructed to reject takeoff at high speed (above 100 knots over ground) due to a crossing aircraft. The aircraft slowed safely and vacated the runway via taxiway N4 behind the aircraft, that had crossed the runway.


An Emirates Boeing 777-300, registration A6-EBY performing flight EK-568 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Bangalore (India), was taxiing for departure and was cleared to cross runway 30R from taxiway M5A to N4 and was entering the runway just when EK-524 began the takeoff roll.

According to information The Aviation Herald received from two independent sources, EK-524 began their takeoff roll without ATC clearance. Tower subsequently instructed EK-524 to stop. According to information EK-524 may have reached 130 KIAS when they rejected takeoff. According to ADS-B data transmitted by the aircraft’s transponder EK-524 had reached 100 knots over ground about 790 meters/2600 feet down the runway and about 1700 meters/5700 feet short of taxiway N4.

EK-568 continued taxi and departed normally. EK-524 taxied back the holding point of runway 30R and departed about 30 minutes after the rejected takeoff.

On Jan 13th 2022 the airline reported, that EK-524 was instructed by tower to abort takeoff on Jan 9th 2022, the crew rejected takeoff successfully. There was no damage to the aircraft and there were no injuries. An internal investigation has been initiated, UAE’s GCAA also opened an investigation.

Reported by The Aviation Herald on 13 January 2022.

Emirates Pilots forget to set the Flight Director causing TravelRisk

Aviation is incredibly safe, and for every disaster there are many catastrophes that are narrowly avoided. It would appear that an Emirates Boeing 777 departing Dubai about a week ago nearly had a major incident after takeoff. Let me share what I’ve been able to piece together so far about this incident.

What happened to this Emirates plane on takeoff?

The flight in question is Emirates EK231 from Dubai (DXB) to Washington Dulles (IAD), which was scheduled to depart at 2:25AM on December 20, 2021. The flight was operated by one of Emirates’ newest Boeing 777-300ERs, with the registration code A6-EQI.

Based on what I’ve been told and have been able to piece together:

  • Before departure, the pilots forgot to set the flight director to an altitude of 4,000 feet, but rather left it at an altitude of zero feet (which the previous crew had presumably set on approach to Dubai)
  • After takeoff, the plane’s nose pitched down, to the point that the plane was at 175 feet and flying at 262 knots (this is supported by actual flight data, which you can find below); as a point of comparison, under normal circumstances the plane would be flying at well under 200 knots at that altitude
  • While I haven’t been able to figure out more details about this, I’m told that the plane sustained damage, yet the pilots made the decision to continue to Washington (I’m still working on figuring out what kind of damage we’re talking about, as the plane operated the return flight later that day)
  • I’ve been told that all four pilots have been fired, and that the US Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating this incident, given that the flight was US-bound (note that I haven’t gotten official confirmation of either of these, though at a minimum I’d assume the pilots are suspended pending an investigation)

For those curious, below is some data from Flightradar24 for the flight in question vs. a more “standard” flight on the same route. You’ll want to look at the right two columns, with the left column being the altitude, and the right column being the speed.

Here’s the data for the flight in question:

Then here’s the data for the same flight several days earlier:

As you can tell, that data is vastly different. This sounds concerning — a Boeing 777 (presumably) full of passengers and fuel was descending right after takeoff, to the point that it was lower than many high rises in Dubai, and flying at a very fast pace.

This incident happened on an Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates has sent a memo to pilots

While Emirates hasn’t yet officially commented on this incident, the airline did send out the following alert to pilots today, essentially referencing the incident:

CREWS ARE REMINDED THAT THERE ARE NO FCOM NORMAL PROCEDURE REQUIREMENTS TO CHANGE THE MCP AFTER LANDING OR SHUTDOWN. THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN THE MCP “ALTITUDE WINDOW” HAS BEEN SET TO THE AIRPORT ELEVATION WHICH MAY CAUSE ISSUES ON THE SUBSEQUENT DEPARTURE. CREWS SHALL NOT SET AIRPORT ELEVATION ON THE MCP AFTER LANDING OR SHUT DOWN.

I wonder what it was like on the plane

I’d be curious to hear from a passenger onboard, because I wonder if passengers had any clue what was going on:

  • On the one hand, perhaps passengers didn’t really know what was going on, since it was dark outside, and most people aren’t really avgeeks and paying attention to every aircraft movement
  • On the other hand, perhaps passengers totally knew what was going on, given that the plane was barely climbing after takeoff, but rather just kept flying faster and faster

While I feel safe flying with Emirates, in general I’m not surprised to see things like this happen once in a while:

  • Emirates pilots deal with a lot of fatigue, given that they often operate ultra long haul flights departing in the middle of the night; no matter how hard you try, this has to take a toll on you
  • In general Emirates hires 777 pilots with less experience than you’d find at some other airlines; that’s largely because it’s Emirates’ smallest plane, and Emirates isn’t going to consistently have a couple of people with 10,000+ flights hours at the controls (as you’d find on American and United, for example)
  • Then there’s coronavirus, which in general has caused a lot of pilots to become a bit rusty, since many have only recently been brought to work after being furloughed
I wonder what this incident was like for passengers

Bottom line

While I’m sure more information will emerge soon, it’s my understanding that an Emirates Boeing 777 had a pretty frightening departure out of Dubai about a week ago. Specifically, the altitude for after takeoff was set to ground level rather than 4,000 feet, and as a result the plane didn’t climb very high, but rather just sped up. The plane ended up flying at 261 knots just 175 feet over the ground, which must have been frightening for those on the ground and in the air.

Since the FAA is allegedly investigating the incident, hopefully we end up learning more. If anyone has more details on the incident, please chime in!

Reported by OneMileAtATime by Ben Schlappig on 28 December 2021.

Singapore Airlines captain error stopped Boeing 777 climbing at 500 feet – TravelRisk

2 September 2019 incident

Singaporean Transport Safety Investigation Bureau Investigators noted that the crew had been facing several individual pressures prior to the departure and highlighted that:

    • The Singapore Airlines captain inadvertently miskeyed, typing ‘500’ rather than ‘500A’, which neither crew member noticed.
    • This error stopped the Boeing 777 aircraft climb at 500ft.
    • The pilot cross-checking process failed.
    • Time pressure resulted in the first officer’s not carrying out a habitual scan of the entries.
    • The captain called for autopilot engagement at 360ft – an early selection because he wanted to reduce workload
    • The captain “did not realise that the aircraft had stopped climbing”, says the inquiry, and had called for flap retraction believing the 777 had passed 1,000ft. Investigators state that the crew “did not verify” altitude information from the instrument displays.

SIA 777 stopped climb at 500ft after crew’s waypoint entry error

Pilots of a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER inadvertently entered an incorrect waypoint altitude constraint prior to departure, resulting in several alerts from the ground-proximity warning system as the aircraft climbed out of Shanghai Pudong.

The take-off runway assigned had been changed from 34L to 35R which meant the aircraft’s standard departure route switched from HSN 22X to HSN 12X.

This required updating the flight-management computer with the new departure route. The first waypoint on this route, identified as PD062, did not have any speed or altitude crossing constraint which meant the field on the computer’s route display was blank.

Although this was not abnormal, the captain “preferred to have the speed constraint explicitly displayed”, says the Singaporean Transport Safety Investigation Bureau, in its inquiry into the 2 September 2019 incident.

He decided to enter the speed constraint of 250kt, as shown on the departure charts. The 777’s flight-management computer required speed constraints to have a corresponding altitude constraint, so the captain chose to enter ‘500A’ – meaning that the PD062 waypoint should be crossed at 500ft or above.

But the captain inadvertently miskeyed, typing ‘500’ rather than ‘500A’, which neither crew member noticed. This error meant the aircraft’s autopilot would limit the aircraft to 500ft ahead of the waypoint crossing.

“The first officer observed the [captain’s] inputs, as part of the cross-checking process, and accepted the inputs as correct,” the inquiry says, adding that “time pressure” resulted in the first officer’s not carrying out a habitual scan of the entries.

As the aircraft took off from runway 35R, in darkness, the captain called for autopilot engagement at 360ft – an early selection because he wanted to reduce workload, given the need for the crew to spend time converting Chinese metric altitude clearances to feet.

SIA 777 9V-SWD-c-Martin Oertle Creative Commons

Source: Martin Oertle/Creative Commons

Pilots on the 777 (9V-SWD) engaged the autopilot just after lift-off

But the autopilot selection meant the aircraft initially climbed to 750ft before descending to 500ft in compliance with the altitude constraint entered for the PD062 waypoint.

The captain “did not realise that the aircraft had stopped climbing”, says the inquiry, and had called for flap retraction believing the 777 had passed 1,000ft. Investigators state that the crew “did not verify” altitude information from the instrument displays.

As the flaps started retracting, the enhanced ground-proximity warning system activated and issued an unexpected ‘don’t sink’ alert, which startled the pilots. The captain nevertheless chose to complete the flap retraction, suggesting to the first officer that the alert might have been due to a pitch reduction resulting from a tailwind.

Nine seconds after the initial alert, the crew received a second ‘don’t sink’ warning, and a third some 9s after that.

“The flight crew then realised that the aircraft had levelled off and they needed to reinitiate a climb,” says the inquiry.

While the captain selected ‘flight level change’ mode in response, he then reverted to ‘vertical navigation’ mode. Flight-data recorder information showed this made no difference to the 777’s altitude, and the aircraft remained at 480-500ft.

Another ‘don’t sink’ caution was triggered, followed shortly afterwards by a ‘pull up’ warning, prompting the captain to disengage the autopilot, pitch the aircraft nose-up and advance the thrust levers.

The aircraft climbed to 1,780ft but, after the captain called for the autopilot to be re-engaged, started descending again towards the 500ft constraint altitude.

At this point the first officer noticed the erroneous constraint entry for the waypoint, and understood the aircraft’s behaviour, informing the captain that the entry needed to be cancelled. Once the entry was deleted, the aircraft was able to climb without further problems and the jet proceeded to Singapore.

“This occurrence is an apt reminder of the guidance given in the flight crew training manual that, when automation does not perform as expected, the flight crew should reduce the level of auto-flight and identify and resolve the condition,” says the inquiry.

“The original level of auto-flight should only be resumed after they have regained proper control of the flight path and performance level.”

Investigators noted that the crew had been facing several individual pressures prior to the departure, including weather concerns, minimum equipment list considerations, and problems downloading route information as a result of a difficult controller-pilot datalink connection.

Reported by Flightglobal on 21 April 2021.

New TravelRisk – electrical issues with 737 MAX

  • Southwest is removing 30 aircraft from service.
  • American is pulling 17 of its 41-strong fleet.
  • United has grounded 16 planes.
  • A change in Boeing’s 737 MAX manufacturing process that was insufficiently vetted caused an electrical system problem.
  • In this change, fasteners were used to hold a backup electrical power unit in place, rather than rivets. Fasteners did not provide a complete electrical grounding path to the unit.

What’s at stake with new 737 MAX electrical issues

After the events of the past few years it’s no surprise that when the 737 MAX has an issue, it receives a lot of coverage. And the latest 737 MAX headlines concerning potential electrical problems are no doubt a big headache for Boeing and its operators alike. It’s bad publicity at the worst possible time for the 737 MAX, when everyone involved will have been hoping for a smooth and quiet reintroduction to service. But it also raises new questions and concerns, on top of many already existing ones, about Boeing’s manufacturing processes and corporate culture. So just what is going on here, and what’s at stake?

To be clear, this appears completely unrelated to the issues that caused two fatal crashes of the type prior to its worldwide grounding. So just how serious are these new electrical problems?

Boeing 737 MAX production manufacturing electrical issues

First: what happened exactly?

Boeing has said this is a “potential” issue that affects a certain number of 737 MAX, but not all of them. Accordingly we’ve seen many of the major operators in the US pull select planes from their fleets. Southwest is removing 30 aircraft from service. American is pulling 17 of its 41-strong fleet. And United has grounded 16 planes.

The Seattle Times published an in-depth piece on what the actual issue is last week. According to that article, a “A minor change in Boeing’s 737 MAX manufacturing process that was insufficiently vetted caused an electrical system problem.” It seems that in this change, fasteners were used to hold a backup electrical power unit in place, rather than rivets. Boeing has said that it discovered the issue while building a new MAX and that, according to the Seattle Times article, the fasteners “did not provide a complete electrical grounding path to the unit.”

Boeing 737 MAX China grounded
The 737 MAX remains grounded in China, where regulators have yet to say when they expect to re-certify the plane.

Is it serious?

While this doesn’t sound like the most serious of issues that could crop up in the manufacturing process, and presumably can be handled without too much complex rework – it’s still troubling. Something like this could be quite dangerous because it has the potential to cause all manner of electrical failures, and that’s not something you want while flying an aircraft.

So Boeing advised all operators that had taken delivery of aircraft with the improperly installed units to inspect and fix them before flying those planes again. And it seems this is not something fundamentally wrong with the 737 MAX systems. All of that is good news. And yet it is troubling, not only for the flying public who may have new concerns about the plane – but also for industry observers.

American Airlines 737 MAX
American has been making good use of its 737 MAX since reintroducing the type. It has had to ground several for inspections because of the latest issues.

The big issue: manufacturing processes

Boeing is under a lot of scrutiny at the moment for failures in its manufacturing processes in recent years that have led to quality control issues with several of its aircraft – most notably the 787 Dreamliner.

Although it’s been less noticed in mainstream press, the 787 has been beset with production issues that have led to a significant slowdown in deliveries in recent months as airframes needed to be checked and in many cases fixed before being delivered to customers. These manufacturing issues may end up costing Boeing billions to fix when all is said and done – to say nothing of the further hit to its reputation.

Boeing did recently begin delivering 787s again. And aside from this issue the 737 MAX has had a relatively smooth rollout with dozens of airlines sending them back into the skies and it being mostly a non-event outside of avgeek circles. Indeed it seems that the expected public mass anxiety about getting back on a 737 MAX was greatly exaggerated, and most people aren’t even noticing that they’re on one.

But the fundamental issues at Boeing remain an ongoing concern, and even as the company fixes aircraft problems as they come up, many are wondering just how deep these problems go, and whether we’ve now seen the end of them. This latest 737 MAX issue only feeds those concerns.

Reported by FlightRadar24 on 14 April 2021.

Travel Risk: 3 TUI Airways flights departed from the UK with inaccurate load sheets

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using ‘Miss’ were treated as children

Weight blunder led to wrong thrust used on takeoff, says UK watchdog


A programming error in the software used by UK airline TUI to check-in passengers led to miscalculated flight loads on three flights last July, a potentially serious safety issue.

The error occurred, according to a report [PDF] released on Thursday by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), because the check-in software treated travelers identified as “Miss” in the passenger list as children, and assigned them a weight of 35 kg (~77 lbs) instead of 69 kg (~152 lbs) for an adult.

The AAIB report attributes the error to cultural differences in how the term Miss is understood.

“The system programming was not carried out in the UK, and in the country where it was performed the title Miss was used for a child, and Ms for an adult female, hence the error,” the report says.

The Register asked TUI where the system programming was done, but the company ignored that question in its response to our inquiry.

“The health and safety of our customers and crew is always our primary concern,” a TUI spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Following this isolated incident, we corrected a fault identified in our IT system. As stated in the report, the safe operation of the flight was not compromised.”

Potentially fatal math

Flight load miscalculations have the potential to affect aircraft handling and to create serious safety issues: the figures are used for figuring out fuel levels, altitude, takeoff thrust, and so on. The 2018 fatal crash of Cubana de Aviación Flight 972, for example, has been attributed to excessive load, as has the 1997 crash of Fine Air Douglas DC-8 cargo flight.

According to the AAIB, the software issue was first spotted on July 10, 2020, when three adult passengers identified as Miss were checked in as children. Airline personnel caught the discrepancy and proceeded to make adjustments manually.

On July 17, the developer(s) working on the check-in application “adapted a piece of software, which changed the title of any adult female from Miss to Ms automatically.”

Alas, the revised code could only convert honorifics for passengers prior to check-in. Bookings made with the title Miss that had already checked in, including those checking in online 24 hours prior to departure, could not be changed.

“On 20 July, 2020, the programmer was making enhancements to the program to improve its performance,” the report says. “This should not have stopped the program from working, but as this was a ‘fix,’ it could not be known for sure. A combination of the [TUI] teams not working over the weekend [to make manual corrections] and the ‘online’ check-in being open early on Monday 20 July, 24 hours ahead of the flight, meant the incorrectly allocated passenger weights were not corrected.”

On 21 July, 2020, three TUI Airways flights departed from the UK with inaccurate load sheets as a result of the software issue, which would not be fixed until July 24, 2020.

The first of these, and the only one detailed in the report, was TUI Airways flight BY-7226, a Boeing 737-800 with the registration G-TAWG. The plane travelled from Birmingham International Airport in the UK to Palma de Mallorca in Spain, carrying 167 passengers and 6 crew.

The 737-800 departed with a takeoff weight that exceeded the load sheet (the projected weight) by 1,244 kg (~2743 lbs) because the load sheet listed 65 children on board, compared to the 29 children expected from the flight plan – which includes the actual weight. The load sheet also varied from the flight plan due to errant baggage weight calculations.

The result of all this was that the plane used less thrust to take off than it should have – 88.3 per cent instead of 88.9 per cent given its actual takeoff weight and environmental conditions. Fortunately, this was “marginally” more than the minimal regulatory requirements – 88.2 per cent – and the flight made it to its destination safely.

It’s suggested this won’t happen again: “An upgrade of the system producing load sheets was carried out to prevent reoccurrence,” the report concludes. ®

Reported by The Register on 8 April 2021.

Travelrisk from Stored Aircraft because of COVID-19? Was Storage a Factor in the Boeing 737 Sriwijaya Flight 182 Crash in Indonesia?

Boeing 737 Sriwijaya Flight 182 Crashed in Indonesia Just After Takeoff on 9 January 2021.

Did the downturn of air travel caused by COVID-19 contribute to this crash?

The Sriwijaya 737 aircraft had been in storage for 9 months in Surabaya and was inspected on 14 December 2020 and since 19 December 2020 operated 132 flights.

Storage may have been a factor in the crash, aircraft must be kept operating otherwise they deteriorate. Mothballed planes pose a safety risk.