On a flight the day before the Lion Air flight that crashed on Monday, the pilot of that flight made a distress call and requested to return to the airport as well. The pilot later updated air traffic control to say that aircraft was flying normally and would not need to return after all.
Another aircraft crew is quoted as saying that the Lion Air flight on Sunday made a “pan-pan” call which is used to alert ATC of an urgent situation. The other aircraft was told to circle temporarily due to the situation. That Lion Air flight landed at 10:55pm on Sunday evening.
According to a report in the Guardian, “the transport minister suspended Lion Air’s technical director and three other officers on Wednesday to facilitate the crash investigation,” due to speculation over the airworthiness of the aircraft. The suspended technicians “issued the recommendations for that [final] flight”, the ministry said in a press release. The flight data recorder has been recovered but so far the voice recorder has not been found.