News / Asia

Indonesia's Lion Air Crash Report Finds Procedure Review Needed

  • A Lion Air plane is seen in the water after it missed the runway in Denpasar, Bali in this picture provided by the Indonesian police, Apr. 13, 2013.
  • A passenger of a Lion Air plane that missed the runway at Bali's international airport receives treatment at Kasih Ibu hospital near Denpasar, Bali, Apr. 13, 2013.
  • A passenger of the Lion Air plane arrives for a treatment at Kasih Ibu hospital near Denpasar, Bali, Apr. 13, 2013.
  • The wreckage of a Lion Air Boeing 737 -800 airplane is seen in the water near Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Apr. 14, 2013.
  • A rescue team swims beside the wreckage of a Lion Air plane near Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar, Bali, Apr. 15, 2013.
  • The pilot whose Indonesian jet slumped into the sea while trying to land in Bali describes how he felt it "dragged" down by wind while he struggled to regain control, a person familiar with the matter said, Apr. 15, 2013.
  • Members of a rescue team walk on a breakwater near the wreckage of a Lion Air plane near Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar, Bali, Apr. 15, 2013.
Reuters
Investigators have raised questions over training and cockpit procedures at Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air after a preliminary report into a crash last month off Bali found the captain was not at the controls at a “critical time”.
    
The National Transportation Safety Committee said in a report that Lion Air should immediately review or reinforce a number of safety measures related to landing procedures carried out by pilots.
    
However, it did not say how it had arrived at the preliminary conclusions from a sample of evidence compiled from “black box” flight data and cockpit voice recordings.
    
All 108 passengers and crew survived when the passenger jet undershot the tourist island's main airport runway and belly-flopped into the water.
    
The report, released late on Tuesday, did not give an exact cause of the crash, but ruled out any major problems with the almost brand-new Boeing 737-800 passenger jet.
    
Weather reports indicated that there was a sudden loss of visibility in the area, it said, adding the second-in-command was in charge seconds before the plane crashed into the sea just before the runway.
    
Lion Air's co-founder Rusdi Kirana said he would respect the outcome of the investigation, but voiced dismay at the interim recommendations which were directed solely at the airline.
    
“If our pilots make mistakes we are not scared to admit it, but we are not happy just blaming the pilots without proof,” he told Reuters. “It is important not to give people the impression that we don't have proper procedures. We take safety seriously, we are a profitable airline and we are not going to limit our budget on training and maintenance.”
    
The cause of the crash has potential implications for the reputation of one of the world's fastest-growing airlines, which is fighting to be removed from a European Union safety blacklist even as it buys record volumes of Airbus and Boeing jets.
    
Indonesia has also failed the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards for aircraft operations and maintenance, and as a result American regulators have imposed restrictions on them starting or increasing flights to the United States.
    
Critical time
  
The preliminary report said that the 24-year-old second-in-command, who had 1,200 hours of flying experience, was in control during the descent into the airport and reported that he could not see the runway 900 feet above ground.
    
The captain switched off the auto-pilot and the second-in-command handed over controls to him at 150 feet - or 1 minute, 6 seconds before the crash - after saying he again could not see the runway.
    
One second before the crash and with 20 feet separating the aircraft and the water, the pilot commanded a “go-around” and attempted to abort the landing, but the plane hit the water.
    
The report recommended Lion Air “review the policy and procedures regarding the risk associated with changeover of control at critical altitudes or critical time.”
    
It added the fast-growing airline should also “ensure the pilots are properly trained” on this subject.
    
The airline said standard aviation practice allowed pilots to change control at any time at the crew's discretion.
    
It defended its standard procedures for aborting a landing and said these had last been reviewed in March last year.
    
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that the pilot had described how he felt the 737-800 passenger jet being “dragged” down by wind while he struggled to regain control.
    
The NTSC report said that the navigational aids and approach guidance facilities such as the runway lights at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport were all “functioning properly” at the time of the crash.
    
It did not address whether these facilities should include an Instrument Landing System (ILS).
    
Industry experts say such a feature is common at airports worldwide to help pilots keep to the right descent path. Bali does not have an ILS for planes landing from the West.
    
The report also did not address whether the jet may have been subject to wind shear or dangerous gusts of wind. Airport officials have told Reuters some of the airports at Asia's best known holiday spots do not have wind shear detectors.
    
The NTSC said it expected to release its final report within the next 12 months.
    
Founded by two brothers and travel entrepreneurs, Lion Air has been growing at a record pace to keep up with one of the region's star economies. Earlier this year, it signed a deal with Europe's Airbus for 234 passenger jets worth $24 billion. Two years ago, it signed a deal with Boeing for 230 planes.
    
At the same time, however, Indonesia has been struggling to improve its civil air safety after a string of deadly accidents.
    
In 2007, Lion Air was among a number of Indonesian airlines banned by the EU for lax safety standards.
    
The ban was progressively lifted, starting in 2009, but although it has had one fatal accident, Lion Air remains on the EU's banned list - a predicament it has dismissed as unfair.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid