On September 15, an Indonesian flight carrying 307 passengers and 11 crew members to the northern city of Medan momentarily veered off the runway after landing, sparking an investigation by the country's transport safety regulator.
It found that the pilot had flown less than three hours in the previous 90 days. The first officer had not flown at all since February 1.
The incident underlines an emerging risk from the coronavirus pandemic: Pilots are not getting enough opportunities to fly because airlines have grounded planes and scaled back operations due to a slump in demand for air travel.
In its preliminary report, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee said the pandemic has made it harder to maintain pilot proficiency and flying experience. The Lion Air aircraft involved was an Airbus SE A330, one of 10 in the carrier's fleet. Because Lion Air does not have a simulator for the A330, its pilots are trained at third-party facilities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Pandemic travel restrictions have made those harder to access.