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October 22, 2007

Report blames pilot error for Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 disaster

Report blames pilot error for Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 disaster

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Monday, October 22, 2007

A final report released today has found pilot error to be the cause of the crash of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 in Indonesia on March 7, 2007. 21 people were killed when the Boeing 737 airliner, carrying 140 people, overshot the runway at Adisucipto International Airport, near Yogyakarta. It crossed a road and then struck an embankment, bursting into flames, before stopping in a rice field, some 252m from the end of the runway.

The pilot is found to have been singing as he began the final descent, in direct contradiction to the Garuda Basic Operations Manual, which calls for activation of the Sterile Cockpit Rule at 10,000 feet and below.

Illustration of a typical go-around procedure. Note that the actual incident differs because the aircraft had bounced off the runway prior to the call for a go-around.

The pilot was probably emotionally aroused because his conscious awareness moved from the relaxed mode “singing” to the heightened stressfulness of the desire to reach the runway by making an excessively steep and fast, unstabilised approach,” the report continued. However, it does say that he was fully aware that something was wrong during the approach, as he is recorded as having said “Oh, there is something not right.”

The report found that that the aircraft was flown by the pilot in command at a speed far exceeding that at which the wing flaps were able to operate properly. The report continues to criticise the pilot further, saying that a cockpit alert by the Ground Proximity Warning System informing the pilot he was flying too fast sounded no less than 15 times, but the pilot failed to abort the landing. He also ignored the co-pilot telling him to execute a ‘go-around procedure’ after the aircraft struck the runway at speed and bounced back into the air.

The co-pilot is himself found to be at error by the report, which points out that he should have taken over the controls from the pilot when it became clear the aircraft was being flown in a dangerous manner. However, the report did note that Garuda Indonesia had failed to give him any simulator training replicating a situation whereby the co-pilot would take over control duties from the pilot in charge due to unsafe handling of the plane; in fact, training was found to be inadequate for both members of the cockpit crew.

In the report’s own words: “During the approach, the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) alerts and warnings sounded 15 times, and the copilot called for the pilot in command to go around.

“The aircraft was flown at an excessive air speed and steep flight path angle during the approach and landing, resulting in an unstabilised approach.

“The pilot in command did not follow company procedures that required him to fly a stabilised approach, and he did not abort the landing and go around when the approach was not stabilised.

“His attention was fixated or channelised on landing the aircraft on the runway and he either did not hear, or disregarded the GPWS alerts, and warnings, and calls from the copilot to go around.”

Authorities were also found to be at fault, with the Indonesian Director General of Civil Aviation criticised for failing to identify inadequacies in pilot training procedures. he was also criticised for the fact that the aircraft had managed to go virtually un-inspected, with only two safety checks in a decade.

The report adds that the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting facilities at the airport were also lacking on the day of the accident, for struggling to access the crash site and for not having the appropriate fire suppressant upon their eventual arrival. The report says these delays likely had an impact on the survivability factors on board the plane in the moments after crashing, when the aircraft was in flames. It ultimately took more than two hours before the fire was put out. Another criticism leveled at the airport was that it failed to comply with international runway safety regulations.

A Garuda 737, comparable to the one involved in the disaster.
Image: Terence Ong.

The report has triggered a call from Caroline Mellish, sister of Australian Financial Review Morgan Mellish, one of five Australians killed in the accident, for greater co-operation between different Indonesian authorities. “I think not working together as different departments in a government shows a lack of any sort of system,” She said from Jakarta, to which she had travelled for the release of the final report.

“If they can’t work together in different departments, I don’t know how they are going to run a country and make any difference investigating this sort of accident and ensuring the recommendations do get carried forward to ensure that no more accident happen.”

However, she did have some sympathy to spare for the pilot who was in control of the plane that day when the possibility of his prosecution was raised: “I think having 21 deaths on your conscience is probably enough. I don’t think prosecuting the man is going to make any difference.”

National Transport Safety Committee chairman Tatang Kurniadi said that no information from the report would be used in any criminal or civil liability investigations. “I would like to go back to the objective of this, the report was made by NTSC for safety purposes only, not for blaming, he said.

“If any institution wants to … follow up that accident, that’s their own decision.

“The report contained the results from the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, but according to international regulations on aviation these black boxes are not allowed to be used for… liability purposes.

“We will not give police or any institution (information) other than for safety purposes only – it’s in international regulations and we want to follow those regulations.



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March 7, 2007

Dozens dead in Indonesian plane crash

Dozens dead in Indonesian plane crash – Wikinews, the free news source

Dozens dead in Indonesian plane crash

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Garuda Indonesia passenger plane with 140 people on board has crashed and burst into flames in Yogyakarta, Indonesia today. At least 21 people have died after the jet plane overshot the runway at 0700 local time. The Indonesian air company Garuda said earlier that at least 49 persons were killed but have now changed the estimate.

A Boeing 737-400 similar to the one that crashed

95 people have been confirmed as having survived the crash, including Din Syamsudin, the leader of the Muhammadiyah Islamic organisation. Survivors are being treated in a local hospital for severe injuries and burns.

Survivors report that the aircraft was shaking violently prior to the crash. The operations chief at Adisucpito International Airport said that the front wheel of the jet was on fire as it landed, causing the vehicle to skid off the runway and veer into a boundary fence. An engine then broke away from the aircraft and the fuselage burst into flames.

It took firefighters over two hours to put out the blaze.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has confirmed that there were 9 Australians on board the flight, 4 of whom remain missing. The Australians included officials and journalists heading to Yogyakarta to prepare for the Foreign Minister’s arrival there. The journalists known to be onboard include Cynthia Banham of the Sydney Morning Herald and Channel Seven cameraman Wayne Sukarda. Fairfax media are still attempting to contact a journalist from The Australian Financial Review.

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Garuda Indonesia Flight 200

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Video of Crash Site

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June 4, 2006

One week after quake, geologists fear Mount Merapi eruption

One week after quake, geologists fear Mount Merapi eruption

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Sunday, June 4, 2006

File picture of Mt Merapi. Photo credit: Wikipedian Blethrow (GFDL)

An Indonesian government volcanologist reports that Mount Merapi spewed lava and ash many times on Saturday, renewing fears of a devastating volcanic eruption.

Government geologist Subandriyo said that Merapi’s lava dome has swelled 56 feet (17 m) in the past week to a height of 330 feet (100 m), raising fears that it could collapse and release a pyroclastic flow of hot gases and rock fragments burning everything in its path. The quake is believed to contribute to the growing instability of the lava dome, scientists said.

The mountain also sent about 90 trails of molten lava down its western slope on Thursday, said geologist Tri Yani.

The announcement comes one week after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Yogyakarta, killing at least 6,000 people and injuring tens of thousands more. Since then, the region has experienced over one thousand aftershocks – most were weak, but some were strong enough to jolt villagers awake in the area.

Villagers in the vicinity of the mountain have started performing ancient religious rituals aimed at averting an eruption. The royally appointed guardian of the mountain, “Mbah” Maridjan, was reported to have led a silent procession of about 100 people on a march around a village near the volcano.

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May 30, 2006

Operation Marham:India rushes aid to Indonesia

Operation Marham:India rushes aid to Indonesia

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Indian government has begun to send humanitarian aid to the earthquake hit Yogyakarta region of Indonesia. The relief effort, named Operation Marham involves the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy and aims to deliver aid materials to the victims.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee was away on an official visit to China and Japan – a result of which the Indian response was initially delayed. Mr. Mukherjee, however, on Sunday night asked the Defence Ministry to make preparations to dispatch aid to Indonesia immediately.

On the sea, the naval vessel INS Rajput has been redeployed from the South China Sea to Jakarta. It is expected to reach the Indonesian capital with 7 tons of relief material today. The INS Tabar will leave the port of Chennai, India, today carrying additional aid.

In the air, an I.A.F cargo plane carrying 35 tons of relief material has been sent to Indonesia. Another airforce plane, an IL-76, will fly out from India today carrying a similar quantity of relief material.

Among the supplies India is sending to the victims of the Indonesian earthquake are tents, medical equipment and rice. Military doctors may also be sent to aid the casualties.

The Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh conveyed their condolences to the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

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May 27, 2006

Earthquake kills thousands in Indonesia

Earthquake kills thousands in Indonesia – Wikinews, the free news source

Earthquake kills thousands in Indonesia

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Location of earthquake.

An earthquake measuring magnitude 6.3 struck Indonesia’s Yogyakarta and Central Java early on Saturday morning, killing at least 5,427 people, and injuring thousands more. Severe damage has been reported in the city of Yogyakarta, with over three thousand buildings having collapsed and electricity and communications links broken. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that the quake struck at 5:54 a.m. local time (2254 UTC Friday) and the epicentre was offshore, approximately 25 km (15 miles) southwest of the city.

Nearby Mount Merapi, which has seen increased activity in recent weeks, had emitted a large cloud of purple smoke and ash shortly before the earthquake, and vulcanologists have confirmed that the earthquake has increased the volcano’s activity. Indonesia lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone containing the boundaries of tectonic plate that encircles the basin of the Pacific Ocean, and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Hospital efforts were being hampered by aftershocks, which the USGS have measured as being up to 4.8 in magnitude, and currently by a lack of doctors, beds, and medical supplies. The Indonesian Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa has said that the earthquake has damaged the Yogyakarta airport runway, closing it to air traffic until at least Sunday.

Many countries have offered aid to the devastated region, with the United Kingdom offering three million pounds ($5,600,000 U.S), Australia offering three million Australian dollars ($2,270,000 U.S) China offering two million U.S dollars, and the United States, European Union, Japan, and UNICEF offering further immediate aid. The Red Cross, Red Crescent, OXFAM as well as UNICEF have been providing tents and emergency supplies to the victims.

Many residents spent the night outdoors, either afraid to return for fear of more aftershocks, or because they had lost their homes. In the Bantul district, up to 80% of houses were destroyed, leaving an estimated 150,000 homeless. The Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, visited the disaster area and has called in the army to assist in rescue efforts.

Related news

  • “Merapi roars, compulsory evacuation ordered” — Wikinews, May 13, 2006

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May 4, 2006

Lava flows from Mount Merapi

Filed under: Archived,Asia,Disasters and accidents,Indonesia,Java,Yogyakarta — admin @ 5:00 am

Lava flows from Mount Merapi – Wikinews, the free news source

Lava flows from Mount Merapi

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Thursday, May 4, 2006

Scientists warn that Mount Merapi, or “The Mountain of Fire,” a large Indonesian volcano on the island of Java is likely to erupt. Molten lava and shallow volcanic earthquakes were recorded on Wednesday, as well as further tremors on Thursday morning.

Mount Merapi is the most active of 130 volcanoes in Indonesia. It is a strato-volcano with an active summit lava dome. It has small eruptions every 3-4 years and larger eruptions every 10-15 years. It has produced more pyroclastic flows, popularly known as heat cloud and magma, than any other volcano in the world. The last fatal eruption happened in 1994, killing 60. During the eruption in 1930, 1,300 people died. Historians say that Mount Merapi has been erupting for 10,000 years.

Mount Merapi is considered very sacred by the locals. According to the local folk-lore the volcano’s eruption is the result of spirits being angered by not receiving sufficient offerings or by a disrespectful attitude among the people in slopes. 27,000 locals in 3 villages could be affected by this eruption. Scientists gave a warning of eruption a fortnight back and asked for immediate evacuation. The nearest city is Yogyakarta. The awesome sight of the erupting volcano has attracted many tourists and locals.

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