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Garuda Indonesia

Garuda pilot charged with “deliberately” causing crash

Unal Basusta, eTN Ambassador India  Jul 25, 2008

YOGYAKARTA - The pilot of an Indonesian passenger jet that crashed last year, killing 21 people, has been charged with deliberately causing the disaster when he appeared in court. Marwoto Komar, a former captain with Garuda Indonesia is charged with three counts of negligence and one of "deliberately" destroying or damaging an aircraft causing death over the March 2007 crash of the Boeing 737 with 140 people on board in the central Java city of Yogyakarta.

The pilots' association for Indonesia's Garuda Airlines says a bonus scheme for saving fuel could be encouraging pilots to attempt dangerous landings.
Twenty-one people, including five Australians, were killed when a Garuda plane crashed at Yogyakarta airport.

Indonesia's National Safety Transport Committee , confirmed that Garuda Flight 200 was travelling at around 410 kph - almost twice the normal speed - when it came in to land.
Garuda Pilots' Association president Captain Stephanus Geraldus says the pilot could gave been trying to save fuel by continuing with the landing rather than making another attempt.
The crash-landing of Garuda Flight 200 may not have been preventable, but the impact could have been "less severe" if international recommendations for safety areas at the end of runways were followed, Indonesia's National Safety Transport Committee's chief investigator Marjono Siswosuwarno said.

"The accident could not be prevented but the result can be less severe," he said.
The access roads for emergency vehicles at Yogyakarta's airport were also criticised by the committee in its preliminary report on the crash investigation.

Fences had prevented fire trucks from reaching the burning plane, which crashed across a road at the end of the runway.

The charges carried a maximum sentence of life in prison. . AFP reported that Komar's lawyer Muhammad Assegaf said his client would fight the charges on the grounds that international civil aviation codes rule out criminal liability for pilots in crashes. "We will at the very least question why the pilot is being criminalised for an accident. This has not yet happened anywhere in Indonesia or in the world," Assegaf said. "Punishing the pilot would give rise to fears among pilots that one day they could be treated as a criminal over an aircraft accident," he added. "It's impossible that a pilot could do this deliberately." An official government report in November found Komar ignored 15 automated cockpit warnings not to land as he brought the plane in at roughly twice the safe speed, causing the jet to bounce and career off the runway and burst into flames in ricefields. Komar was sacked by Garuda in February and has had his pilot's license suspended.

Garuda pilot charged with “deliberately” causing crash

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