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December 2, 2015

Investigators blame pilot error for AirAsia crash into Java Sea

Investigators blame pilot error for AirAsia crash into Java Sea

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee yesterday declared pilot error to be behind the crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501. All 162 passengers and crew died when the plane crashed into the Java Sea a year ago.

The crashed aircraft, photographed in April 2014.
Image: Oka Sudiatmika.

The Airbus A320-200 was around 40 minutes from Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport to Singapore’s Changi International Airport when it vanished on December 28. Wreckage and bodies were found floating two days later; National Search and Rescue Agency divers led an international recovery effort but over 50 bodies remain lost.

The pilots were facing a fault with the rudder travel limiter, a part involved in rudder control. They repeatedly received warnings on their Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM) system. The first three times Indonesian Pilot Iriyanto and French co-pilot Remi Emmanuel Plesel followed correct procedure only for the fault to recur. The fourth time, they tried something else — based on Flight Data Recorder readouts, investigators believe they reset power to their Flight Augmentation Computers.

The computers are principally responsible for rudder control and aircraft stability. With both computers switched off, the entire fly-by-wire system of semi-automation disconnected, as did the autopilot and autothrust systems. The pilots were now left to fly entirely manually, without automation that protects the aircraft from entering unusual and dangerous positions.

A miscommunication followed. Iriyanto asked Plesel, who was flying, to “pull down”. Plesel pulled the controls down, which pitched the nose up; Iriyanto had wanted to descend. The flight ascended without permission through 36,000ft with a ground speed of 353knts. The aircraft would normally be travelling faster, with a nearby Emirates jet at a ground speed of 503knts at 36,000ft. The aircraft also banked as the disengagement of automation left the rudder off-centre.

A ship carries the aircraft’s recovered tail.
Image: Antonio P. Turretto Ramos, US Navy.

The AirAsia flight reached 38,000ft and entered a stall. The crew did not manage to regain control. The 155 passengers and seven crew died when the plane hit the sea. Most were Indonesians, but for three South Koreans, one Malaysian, one Brit, and French national Plesel.

The fault was traced to cracked solder on a circuit board. It had repeatedly occurred in the weeks before the crash. The investigation concluded maintenance failings contributed to the disaster, but Muhammad Alwi of the Indonesian Transportation Ministry said “Repeated trouble in maintenance is a normal thing[…] If the trouble is fixed in accordance with the manual maintenance procedures, then it’s alright”.

Investigators believe the solder crack is attributable to extreme temperature changes in the unprotected compartment near the tail that houses the component.

The investigation further found the flight crew were untrained in recovering from extreme events. AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes said yesterday “there is much to be learned here for AirAsia, the manufacturer and the aviation industry… We will not leave any stone unturned to make sure the industry learns from this tragic incident”.

The report also dismisses weather as a contributory factor. The flight was diverting around storms in the area.

Iriyanto and Plessel had over 8,000 hours experience between them. Iriyanto had a decade of experience training other pilots, and previous employers include the air force. They spent three minutes struggling to regain control as the pane fell to the sea. Some bodies were recovered around 1,000km away near Sulawesi.

AFP spoke to Terence Fan, an air industry expert from Singapore Management University, who said “It’s a scenario that has played out in air accidents in the past[…] Pilots are either distracted by a faulty equipment or cannot properly solve the issue and something else is brewing in the background.”

One such accident was the loss of Air France Flight 447 in 2009 into the Atlantic. It was investigated by the BEA of France, which also assisted the AirAsia probe. The BEA issued recommendations on how to train pilots after the Air France crash. Ex-BEA boss Jean-Paul Troadec said to AFP “Several recommendations of the (BEA) on the subject of pilot training were clearly not implemented by [AirAsia].”

Indonesia saw such an accident on New Years’ Day 2007 when Adam Air Flight 574 crashed into the Makasser Strait near Sulawesi. The plane suffered a failure on a navigational instrument. While pilots were troubleshooting for this navigational system they first unintentionally disconnected the autopilot, then lost control and crashed into the sea.



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October 30, 2015

Indonesian forest fires threatening orangutans

Indonesian forest fires threatening orangutans

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Environment
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On Monday, the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo flew back to Indonesia after a trip to the United States to deal with the forest fires burning across the country which are posing a significant threat to the orangutan population.

El Niño effect was the main reason of the forest fires which brought warmer temperatures and drought to the region and the slash and burn method of clearing land for the production of palm oil. Haze from the fires covered the southeast Asian countries causing health issues to the living beings.

The estimated population of the orangutans in Borneo islands is about 40,000 and 10,000 on the Sumatra islands. Their native habitat has been under threat for some time due to the clearing of land for palm oil production but the fires are now placing them under greater threat. The fires and the dense smoke are causing the orangutans to suffer from undernourishment, respiratory diseases and burns. The forest fires are also forcing the orangutans closer to human settlement which places them in danger of being killed or sold.

Indonesia, along with Malaysia, produces 85 percent of the world’s palm oil and fires are frequently used as part of the slash and burn method to clear land for palm oil production. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) suggested that global demand for palm oil is expected to double by 2020.


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October 22, 2015

Former Miss Austria Ena Kadic dies after mountain fall

Former Miss Austria Ena Kadic dies after mountain fall

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

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Ena Kadić, an Austrian woman who won the 2013 Miss Austria crown, died early this week in hospital. She was 26 and fell whilst jogging in the Austrian Alps on Friday.

Ena Kadić in 2013.
Image: Miss Austria Corp.

Kadić fell roughly 30m down the Bergisel mountain in Tyrol, near Innsbruck where she worked. She was taken to Innsbruck University Hospital with injuries to her head, pelvis, and lung. Remaining conscious after the fall, she had alerted her family via telephone who in turn contacted emergency services.

She was found near the Drachenfelsen platform, which overlooks the River Sill. Police said she knew the area and enjoyed running; a profile on the Miss Austria website said she was into sports and nature.

The brown-haired, green-eyed beauty’s looks took her to compete in Bali, Indonesia in 2013. Thereafter she shunned publicity and worked in a fashion store. “The media, the events, the parties — that life made me so unhappy,” she said this year in a Seitenblicke interview.



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September 15, 2015

Palm Oil Haze in Southeast Asia

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Palm Oil Haze in Southeast Asia – Wikinews, the free news source

Palm Oil Haze in Southeast Asia

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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Forest fires that are caused by the deforestation of crops of palm oil have resulted in a heavy haze of smoke to fall on parts of Indonesia in the past fortnight. The smoke has impacted 80% of Indonesia, including Sumatra. However, the haze has started to cause respiratory problems amongst the citizens that live in Indonesia. Many citizens have been complaining that no matter where they go, they cannot escape the smoke that seems to follow them.

The haze that impacts 80% of the Indonesian population has been rumoured to be caused by major companies within Sumatra illegally burning down their land to make room for more crops for the plantation of palm oil. There has been an inquiry into 10 major plantation companies who have been the sufferers of forest fires within the last year. PT Tempirai Palm Resources are one of the companies that have been named as one of the companies that are responsible for the breach. However, the techniques that are used for clearing the forests as quickly as possible so that more palm oil plantations can be planted have been blamed for the haze. The fires are caused using the ‘slash and burn’ method, which is one of the more efficient ways to clear a large amount of forest in a short amount of time.

The health problems caused by the haze have included two children who have died due to respiratory problems, as well as the closure of schools for a month. This is not the norm, as higher levels of pollution have been recorded than what is the norm in previous years. Indonesia is currently in the top 10 greenhouse gas emitting countries throughout the world, with deforestation being a major factor in this.



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August 28, 2015

Foreign journalists reporting restrictions revoked by Indonesian government

Foreign journalists reporting restrictions revoked by Indonesian government

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Indonesian Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, has revoked and apologized for the proposal of plans for more stringent regulations placed on foreign journalists due to public disgruntle. New regulations would require foreign journalists to provide reports to appropriate government authorities, and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), detailing any work in Indonesia.

These new regulations were issued to the entire island on Wednesday in an attempt for the Foreign Ministry to administer and oversee all activity of journalists. Foreign journalists and television crews, activists and non-government organisations would have been among those affected by the new changes of policy.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists Indonesia (AJI) believed the new regulation violated the freedom of the press in Indonesia and went against the original principles of freedom of the press in Indonesia and West Papua.

“The policy contradicts the pledge that President Jokowi made when he was in Papua that he would allow open access to foreign journalists,” Sujarwono, AJI chairman, said.

The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club commented on the bid to change policies surrounding the freedom of press to be saddening as the Indonesian government claims to support freedom of speech and human rights, taking a democratic government stance.



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July 4, 2015

C-130 Hercules crashes in Medan, Indonesia

C-130 Hercules crashes in Medan, Indonesia

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

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On Tuesday, an Indonesian Air Force C-130 Hercules crashed in the city of Medan, Indonesia. All 122 people on board were killed as well as people on the ground in the city in North Sumatra, according to North Sumatra police Major A. Tarigan. Officials said the plane exploded on impact into a big fireball.

A C-130 similar to the accident aircraft.
Image: Erik l.

The military said the plane took off at 12:08 pm local time (0508 UTC) and crashed five kilometers away a couple of minutes later. According to Agus Supriatna, chief of the Air Force, the pilot reported technical problems and requested return to base. The aircraft was en route from Soewondo Air Force Base to Natuna.

The air force first said there were twelve crew members on board, but the total number of reported fatalities continued to change with later reports. Police found even more dead bodies from the crash on the ground, raising the reported death toll as high as 142 people. Some bodies have been identified by blood sampling, an official told newspaper Jakarta Globe.

There were some allegations that passengers on the aircraft were not limited to military families. The military is not allowed to fly civilian passengers, according to the air force chief, unless they are related to military personnel, or under some special circumstances. The chief is looking into these allegations to see if there were paying passengers.

An AirAsia jet crashed in the Java Sea last December, killing everyone aboard.

The cause of this C-130 crash has yet to be determined.



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May 18, 2015

Over 900 asylum seekers rescued off Indonesian coast

Filed under: Archived,Asia,Indonesia — admin @ 5:00 am

Over 900 asylum seekers rescued off Indonesian coast

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Monday, May 18, 2015

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On Friday, fishermen rescued over 700 asylum seekers whose boat sank, and the Indonesian Navy reportedly saved 200 more after they were found swimming along the coast of Aceh, Indonesia.

Major general Fuad Basya, spokesman for the Indonesian military, said fisherman first noticed the people and a warship was deployed to retrieve them. The rescued members included Bangladeshis and Rohingya, a stateless minority of Muslims from Myanmar. Myanmar is mainly Buddhist and the United Nations rates the Rohingya among the world’s most persecuted groups. According to ABC News, Basya also believes the asylum seekers found in the water may have left the boat on purpose to be rescued to avoid being sent away from Indonesia waters.

Malaysia and Indonesia have maintained a policy of turning away boats of migrants which, according to AFP, the Untied Nations and United States have both criticised.

One Rohingya, Muhammad Amin, the first boat rescued on Friday was turned around twice, toward Malaysia by Indonesian navy and then toward Indonesia by Malaysian navy.

Discussing his concern in a public statement, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak said, “We are in contact with all relevant parties, with whom we share the desire to find a solution to this crisis”.

Thailand has recently cracked down on human trafficking, which has affected the routes by which people-smugglers transport migrants.

The US State Department said John Kerry, the Secretary of State, contacted Thailand’s foreign minister over temporary housing for the Rohingya out at sea. Jeff Rathke, the State Department Spokesperson, said, “We urge the governments of the region to work together quickly, first and foremost, to save the lives of migrants now at sea who are in need of an immediate rescue effort”. Rathke also asked the governments of South East Asia not to turn away boats of people seeking asylum.

Estimates suggest 8000 migrants may be currently at sea in the region.



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May 1, 2015

Two Australians executed in Indonesia over 2005 drug smuggling case

Filed under: Archived,Australia,Crime and law,Indonesia — admin @ 5:00 am

Two Australians executed in Indonesia over 2005 drug smuggling case

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Friday, May 1, 2015

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At 12:35 am local time Wednesday morning, Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, leaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” heroin drug smugglers group, were executed on the Indonesian island of Nusa Kambangan.

The execution came nearly ten years after their 2006 conviction, in which time both men had become fully rehabilitated, said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Chan had become a Christian minister and Sukumaran turned to painting to help other prisoners at Kerobokan Prison to rehabilitate.

The two Australian men as well as the other six men executed were confirmed dead 27 minutes after they faced a firing squad, said Indonesian officials. They refused blindfolds when they stood before the firing squad, and sang “Amazing Grace“, according to witnesses.

Australian officials condemned the executions, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying the relationship between the neighbouring countries has reached a “dark moment”. The Prime Minister, as well as the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, agreed to withdraw the Australian ambassador to Indonesia “once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families”, who were staying in the Cilacap region. Mr Abbott said, “We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual.”

Australian authorities are coming under question, with lawyer Bob Myers saying “this is a black day for the AFP [Australian Federal Police], a day they deliberately exposed nine Australians to the death penalty”. Myers was contacted by the father of Bali Nine member Scott Rush after the father suspected his son’s involvement in the operation, which aimed to import 8.3 kilograms of heroin into Australia, with an estimated street value of about A$4 million. Myers said the AFP knew of the plans of every member of the Bali Nine, excluding Sukumaran, “and they didn’t want to stop these people.” He said the AFP had the opportunity to arrest the Australians before they left for Indonesia, meaning they would face a prison sentence in Australia, and avoid the death penalty. In not doing so, Myers said, they now have “blood on their hands”.

Tributes have flowed in on social media using hashtag #IStandForMercy. Many Australians have also said they will boycott future plans to travel to the island nation, using hashtags #boycottindonesia and #boycottbali.



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February 8, 2015

Divers retrieve 100th corpse from Java Sea jet crash

Divers retrieve 100th corpse from Java Sea jet crash

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

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Divers yesterday recovered three bodies from December’s air disaster in the Java Sea. Added to four retrieved on Friday, they bring the total to 100. An additional 62 victims remain to be recovered.

The crashed aircraft, photographed in April.
Image: Oka Sudiatmika.

There were no survivors when Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed on December 28. The six-year-old Airbus A320-200 was 40 minutes from Juanda International Airport with 155 passengers and seven crew, bound for Singapore’s Changi International Airport. Most were Indonesians, with three South Koreans, one Malaysian, one Brit and one French person on board.

One of the latest bodies was a uniformed man strapped into a cockpit seat, and presumed to be either Indonesian Pilot Iriyanto or French co-pilot Remi Emmanuel Plesel. Underwater currents have complicated recovery of the other body from the cockpit. Efforts to retrieve the entire aircraft last month were abandoned. Some bodies have been found roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the crash site, floating near Sulawesi.

Iriyanto and Plessel had over 8,000 hours experience between them. Iriyanto has a decade of experience training other pilots, and previous employers include the air force. Their actions have come under scrutiny as the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) investigates.

A ship carries the aircraft’s recovered tail.
Image: Antonio P. Turretto Ramos, US Navy.

The aircraft entered an excessively steep climb before stalling, the NTSC said last month. It took three minutes for the plane to reach the water, during which time the flight crew tried to regain control. Bloomberg claims the flight crew switched off computers designed to aid them after they issued alerts. AirAsia has declined to comment pending the NTSC investigation, which is expected to continue for several months.

The Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics suggests weather caused the disaster, suggesting ice led to engine failure. NTSC head investigator Marjono Siswosuwarno last month reported satellite data showed storms as high as 44,000ft. The plane was attempting to avoid storms in the minutes before contact was lost.

The National Search and Rescue Agency has over 60 divers working to retrieve the bodies.



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December 30, 2014

AirAsia disaster: Bodies, wreckage found

Filed under: Indonesia,Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 — admin @ 5:00 am

AirAsia disaster: Bodies, wreckage found

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Indonesia
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  • 30 December 2014: AirAsia disaster: Bodies, wreckage found
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Search and rescue teams today began recovering bodies after debris from Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 was spotted in the sea near Borneo.

The flight from Surabaya to Singapore vanished from radar screens early on Sunday morning over the Java Sea. 155 passengers and seven crew were on board. Most were Indonesians, with three South Koreans, one Malaysian, one Brit and one French person on board.

An Indonesian naval ship today recovered at least three bodies. TvOne broadcast uncensored footage that was seen by distressed relatives at Juanda International Airport, where the plane departed. TvOne has apologised and switched to blurred-out footage.

The crashed aircraft, photographed in April.
Image: Oka Sudiatmika.

Yesterday evening searchers stated they were using twelve helicopters, eleven planes, and 32 vessels. Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia sent assistance with the search. Local fishing boats have also joined. The US, UK, and France have been asked for help locating submerged remains. USS Sampson, a US Navy destroyer, is due to join search efforts today.

National Search and Rescue Agency head Bambang Soelistyo says a “shadow” on the seabed, spotted by the air force, is thought to be the wreck site. The nearest airstrip is in Pangkalan Bun, Borneo, about 160km away.

AirNav, the Indonesian national air traffic control (ATC) facility, yesterday said the aircraft was given permission to divert to avoid bad weather; the area was experiencing thunderstorms. That was at 6:12 local time. The flight crew next asked to climb from 32,000ft to 38,000ft.

Controllers conferred with Singapore and agreed the plane could climb as high as 34,000ft with another flight preventing a higher altitude. When they radioed permission at 6:14 they received no answer. The flight vanished from radar at 6:17. The transponder ceased to be received a minute later.

A leaked screenshot from an ATC radar screen shows the flight ascending without permission through 36,000ft with a ground speed of 353knts. The aircraft would normally be travelling faster, with an Emirates jet also on the screen showing a ground speed of 503knts at 36,000ft. An insufficient speed can cause an aircraft to stall.

Indonesian Pilot Iriyanto and French co-pilot Remi Emmanuel Plesel did not explain their request to climb. They have over 8,000 hours experience between them. They were flying Airbus A320-200 registration PK-AXC and serial number 3648, which was six years old. It last underwent maintenance in November. Management company Doric own and lease the aircraft. The plane had accumulated 23,000 flying hours on 13,600 flights. It went missing around 40 minutes into a flight to Changi International Airport.

Iriyanto’s previous employers include the Indonesian Air Force, Merpati Airlines, and Adam Air. The 53-year-old also has ten years experience as a pilot trainer. He has flown for AirAsia for three years.

Investigations are to be led by the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee. France-based airframer Airbus, the BEA, which investigates aviation mishaps in France, and the US National Transportation Safety Board have all offered assistance.

Reuters spoke to an anonymous source within the investigation. “Why did [Iriyanto] request to climb at that stage?” said the source. “Should he have climbed earlier? Other aircraft were flying at a higher altitude in that area. How did the two pilots react to the weather? We are asking those questions.” The source said radar, weather, and communications data was being analysed.

AirAsia owner Tony Fernandes said he has “full confidence in my[…] crew[…][Iriyanto] was extremely experienced”. He added Iriyanto “came from the air force, one of their best graduates. He came from Surabaya, so he knows the area very well.” Fernandes said it was “too early to speculate” about causes.

AirAsia is based in Malaysia. 2014 has been a year of air disasters for the country; Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been missing since March with 239 on board and in July Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine with 298 casualties. Both involved Boeing 777 aircraft.

AirAsia has a good record with no previous fatal accidents.


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AirAsia Emergency Contact Number: +622129850801
Juanda Airport: [031] 8690945

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