Garuda Indonesia Flight 200

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Garuda Indonesia Flight 200
Tail of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200.
Accident summary
Date 7 March 2007
Summary Runway overrun, pilot error
Site Adisucipto International Airport (IATA: JOG; ICAO: WARJ)
7°47′17″S 110°25′54″E / 7.78806°S 110.43167°E / -7.78806; 110.43167Coordinates: 7°47′17″S 110°25′54″E / 7.78806°S 110.43167°E / -7.78806; 110.43167
Passengers 133
Crew 7
Injuries (non-fatal) 112
Fatalities 21
Survivors 119
Aircraft type Boeing 737–497
Operator Garuda Indonesia
Registration PK-GZC

Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 (GA200) was a scheduled domestic passenger flight of a Boeing 737-497 operated by Garuda Indonesia between Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Indonesia.[1] The aircraft crashed and burst into flames while landing at Adisucipto International Airport on 7 March 2007. Twenty passengers and one crew member were killed;[2] both the captain and the first officer survived and were admitted to an Indonesian military hospital.[3]

Aircraft[edit]

The aircraft was a Boeing 737-400, registered as PK-GZC, which had been operated by three airlines – Aloha Airlines, Star Europe and Jet Airways – before being acquired by Garuda Indonesia.[4] The aircraft had a total of 35,157 airframe hours and 37,328 cycles since its first flight on 5 November 1992.[5]

Garuda Indonesia[edit]

The oldest airline in Indonesia (founded in 1949),[6] Garuda Indonesia had received a number of criticisms in the months surrounding the crash. According to Australian aviation experts, Garuda Indonesia had one of the worst safety records among the world's national carriers.[7] Since 1950, Garuda Indonesia has had 14 major accidents with the most recent in 1997, when Garuda Indonesia Flight 152 crashed 18 miles off Medan Airport in Sumatra, killing all 234 passengers.[7] The managing director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Peter Harbison, stated that the major accidents in Indonesian aviation history were all caused by the combinations of airports' and fleets' low safety standards and the poor weather conditions in the area, including severe thunderstorms and other forms of inclement weather.[7]

Flight chronology[edit]

Flight GA200 originated in Jakarta and was carrying 133 passengers, 19 of whom were foreigners.[1] Several Australian journalists were on the flight, covering the visit of Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock to Java.[8] They were on the flight as the aircraft carrying Australian dignitaries were at capacity.[9]

At 6:58am local time (UTC+7),[10] while attempting to land at Adisucipto International Airport, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the plane overran the end of the runway, went through the perimeter fence and stopped in a nearby rice field after it bounced three times.[11] The aircraft touched down 860m beyond the runway threshold[12] at a speed of 221kt, 87kt faster than the normal landing speed.[13] According to passengers, the plane shook violently before it crashed.[14] At some point the plane caught fire, and while most passengers were able to escape, a number of passengers perished inside the burning fuselage. This may have been caused by the broken main exit door, which is located at the front left.[15] The fire may have been ignited from the nose landing gear after its wheels were snapped off, which were found later on the runway.[16]

The pilot, Captain Muhammad Marwoto Komar, claimed that there was a sudden downdraft immediately before the flight landed, and that the flaps on the aircraft may have malfunctioned.[17]

Aftermath[edit]

One of the passengers was a cameraman for the Australian Seven Network. He escaped from the burning wreckage with his camera and started filming the aftermath. He made a telephone call to inform the network's Sydney newsroom and the footage was beamed back to appear on the 6pm news of that night.[3][18] Australian Federal Police agents Brice Steele and Mark Scott, Australian Embassy staffers Liz O'Neill (public relations officer) and Allison Sudradjat (Minister Counsellor and Senior Representative of AusAID),[19] and Australian Financial Review newspaper journalist Morgan Mellish were among those killed.[20]

Investigation[edit]

The accident was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Committee. Australian Federal Police disaster victim identification experts were deployed to the scene to assist with the identification of bodies.[21] Australian Transport Safety Bureau staff assisted at the scene by inspecting the wreckage to attempt to piece together a picture of the incident. The "black box" recorders consisting of a flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were removed from the wreckage and flown to Canberra, Australia, for further analysis by the Bureau of Air Safety Investigations using equipment not yet available in Indonesia.[21] The United States' National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a team to assist in the investigation, including representatives from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration.[22] Staff in Australia could not read the cockpit voice recorder of the black box, which was then sent to the Boeing factory in Seattle, United States, to be deciphered.

After the flight data and black box recordings were analyzed, and a complete safety review of the airport was conducted, it was revealed that the Yogyakarta Airport did not conform to international safety standards, having a runway runoff 60m in length, compared to a recommended 90m;[23] pilots reported the reverse thrust of one engine was not working prior to takeoff; the weather was calm, contradicting claims of an updraft; data recordings revealed no mechanical fault before landing; black box recordings revealed there was no cockpit argument, as reported; safety vehicles were unable to reach the crash site in sufficient time, failing to conform to global safety standards.[24]

On 17 March 2007, new evidence from the flight data recorder indicated that wing flaps on the plane were not extended for landing.[25] The captain had called instructed the co-pilot to extend the flaps to 15', but the latter had not done so because the aircraft was still travelling faster the 205kt maximum speed for that configuration.[26][27][28] On 11 April 2007, Indonesia's National Safety Transport Committee released a preliminary finding into the crash, confirming that Garuda Flight 200 was travelling at around 410 km/h  when it came in to land. A Garuda Pilots' Association official has speculated that the captain could have been trying to save fuel due to a new fuel conservation bonus scheme recently introduced by Garuda Indonesia.[29]

On 22 October 2007, the official enquiry blamed the crash on pilot error. The captain ignored the plane's automated warning system as it sounded alarms fifteen times. He also ignored calls from the co-pilot to go around and make another approach.[30]

On 4 February 2008 the captain, Marwoto Komar, was arrested and charged with six counts of manslaughter.[31][32] The charge carries a penalty up to life imprisonment if the court finds the crash was deliberate. Short of that finding, the lesser charge of negligent flying causing death, carries a maximum sentence of seven-years.[33] The copilot testified that he had told the captain to go around because of excessive speed, and that he then had blacked out due to the severe buffeting.[34] On 6 April 2009, the captain was found guilty of negligence and sentenced to 2 years in jail.[35] The conviction was quashed by the Indonesian High Court on 29 September 2009.[36]

Change of flight number[edit]

Garuda has changed the flight number from GA 200 to GA 202. GA 200 normally left Jakarta at around 6.15 AM (the first flight out of Jakarta bound for Yogyakarta). GA 202 now leaves at 6am.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Indonesia crash survivors describe ordeal". swissinfo.org. Reuters. 7 March 2007. 
  2. ^ NTSC final report, section 1.2 "Injuries to persons", page 7
  3. ^ a b "Information on passengers of GA200". Garuda Indonesia. 7 March 2007. [dead link]
  4. ^ "PK-GZC Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737–497 – cn 25664 / ln 2393". Planespotters. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  5. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 9 March 2007.
  6. ^ Eagle, Stephen; Claire Leow (17 March 2005). "Indonesia dismisses Garuda directors". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 March 2007. 
  7. ^ a b c Ashton, Heath (7 March 2007). "Garuda in world's worst category". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2007. 
  8. ^ Ruddock offers plane to crash survivors; The Age 7 March 2007; [1]. Retrieved 8 March 2007
  9. ^ VIP RAAF fleet upgrade follows tragedy, Herald Sun, 18 June 2008.
  10. ^ NTSC final report, section 1.1 "History of the flight", page 2
  11. ^ Firdaus, Irwan (7 March 2007). "115 escape Indonesia jet crash; 21 die". Chron News. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 March 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ NTSC final report, section 2.2, page 48
  13. ^ NTSC final report, section 2.7, page 51
  14. ^ Firdaus, Irwan (7 March 2007). "Flames engulf Indonesian jet, killing 21". Association Press Writer (Yahoo News). Archived from the original on 9 March 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2007. 
  15. ^ "Official: Indonesian plane's main exit didn't open". CNN. Reuters. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Plane's front wheels 'snapped off'". Melbourne: The Age Newspaper. Australian Associated Press. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007. 
  17. ^ "Pilot 'suicidal, blames wind gust'". NineMSN. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007. 
  18. ^ Firdaus, Irwan (7 March 2007). "Flames engulf Indonesian jet, killing 21". Associated Press Writer. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2007. 
  19. ^ Davis, Bruce (8 May 2007). "Head of AusAID Indonesia Confirmed Dead". Australian Agency for International Development (Australian Government; AusAID). Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  20. ^ Barraclough, Steven (8 May 2007). "Death of Australians in Yogyakarta". Australian Embassy (Australian Embassy Indonesia). Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  21. ^ a b "Garuda black box arrives in Australia". NEWS. Australian Associated Press. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007. [dead link]
  22. ^ "NTSB SENDING TEAM TO ASSIST INDONESIA IN INVESTIGATION OF 737 CRASH" (Press release). National Transportation Safety Board. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007. 
  23. ^ NTSC final report, section 2.6 "Runway end safety area", page 51
  24. ^ "Plane Hit at Twice Usual Speed". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 April 2007. 
  25. ^ "Wing flap failure in crash jet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 March 2007. 
  26. ^ "Garuda crash pilots argued over speed – investigator". Reuters. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007. 
  27. ^ "Garuda crash inquiry update". Radio Australia. Retrieved 1 April 2007. 
  28. ^ NTSC final report, section 2.2, page 47
  29. ^ "Garuda crash pilot may have been trying to save fuel". ABC News. Retrieved 12 April 2007. 
  30. ^ Lucy Williamson (21 October 2007). "'Pilot error' caused Java crash". BBC. Retrieved 21 October 2007. 
  31. ^ Mark Forbes (5 February 2008). "Captain charged over Garuda crash". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  32. ^ "Garuda crash pilot facing jail," The Australian
  33. ^ Stephen Fitzpatrick (25 July 2008). "Garuda pilot 'missed chance' to correct deadly mistake". The Australian. 
  34. ^ Stephen Fitzpatrick (28 October 2008). "Garuda co-pilot 'blacked out' in Yogyakarta crash". The Australian. 
  35. ^ "Indonesian crash pilot sentenced". BBC News. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  36. ^ Allard, Tom (12 December 2009). "Crashed jet pilot's conviction quashed in high court". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

External images
Pre-accident pictures of the airplane