The plane involved in Monday’s incident has only been in operation since 15 August.
The pilot is reported to have radioed air traffic control in Jakarta asking for permission to turn back, shortly after taking off.
Now it has emerged that the plane had some technical problems on Sunday on its penultimate flight.
A technical log obtained by the BBC for that flight – from Denpasar airport in Bali to Jakarta – suggests that the airspeed reading on the captain’s instrument was unreliable, and the altitude readings differed on the captain’s and first officer’s instruments.
As a result of the problem, the captain handed over control of the plane to the first officer, the crew continued their flight and they landed safely at Jakarta.
Lion Air have not confirmed the report, but this may have been the unspecified “technical problem” that the company’s chief executive said the plane’s Denpasar to Jakarta flight had suffered from.
Edward Sirait said that this problem had been “resolved according to procedure”.
He added that Lion Air was currently operating 11 aircraft of the same model. He said there were no plans to ground the rest of the planes.
‘Snags’ sorted quickly
Aviation analyst Gerry Soejatman told the BBC that usually it is old aircraft that are at the highest risk of accidents but that there can also be problems with very new ones.
“If it’s very new there are sometimes snags that only reveal themselves after they are [used routinely],” he said. “These usually get sorted [within] the first three months.”
Another analyst, Jon Ostrower of aviation publication The Air Current, said there were “always new teething issues… that’s common, but a far cry from something that would threaten the safety of an aeroplane”.
He added that new planes generally
“enjoy a maintenance holiday because everything is so new, not the reverse”.