Category: Accident

Garuda Indonesia cancels order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8s

Indonesian national carrier Garuda has requested to cancel an order for 49 Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger jets following recent deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia involving the same type of aircraft, the company said Friday.

Garuda has sent a letter to Boeing requesting the cancellation, said Garuda spokesman Ikhsan Rosan. 

“Our passengers have low confidence in the aircraft since the accidents and avoided using the MAX 8,” he said, referring to the Lion Air crash on October 29 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10. 

Garuda currently has one Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in its fleet. 

Ikhsan said a Boeing team was expected in Jakarta on March 28 to discuss the matter. 

“It is possible that we’ll opt to order a different model of Boeing aircraft,” he said. 

Lion Air, Indonesia’s largest budget airline, has 10 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.  

All Boeing 737 Max 8 planes operating in Indonesia have been grounded by the Transportation Ministry pending inspections. 

A Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 plane plummeted into the sea 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta’s international airport on October 29, killing all 189 people on board. 

A preliminary report on the accident released in November revealed that the pilots of the doomed flight tried to pull the aircraft back up repeatedly as the aircraft’s automatic nose-down manoeuvre was activated. 

On March 10, a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed minutes after taking off, killing all 157 people on board.

Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said Sunday there were “clear similarities” between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash.

Lion air crash: Third pilot was on plane’s next-to-last flight

A third pilot was on a Lion Air flight that encountered technical problems the night before the same plane crashed into the sea on October 29, Indonesia crash investigators said Thursday. 

A different crew piloted the Boeing 737 Max 8 on its fatal last flight and was unable to fix reportedly similar problems, causing the plane to plummet into the Java Sea, killing 189 people.   

“It is true there was another pilot in the cockpit during the flight [from Bali to Jakarta],” said Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT). 

The third pilot was an off-duty staffer who was returning from Bali to Jakarta and was qualified to fly the Max 8. 

“The pilot has been interviewed by KNKT but we will not disclose the content of the interview,” Soerjanto said. 

The news agency Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing two unnamed sources, that the extra pilot correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable a malfunctioning flight-control system and save the plane.

The off-duty pilot told the crew to cut power to the motor in the trim system that was driving the nose down, the report said.

A preliminary report on the accident released in November revealed that the pilots of the doomed flight tried to pull the aircraft back up repeatedly as the aircraft’s automatic nose-down manoeuvre was activated. 

Investigators have focused on the role of a new feature in the Boeing aircraft, known as the manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), in the crash.

The system has been installed by Boeing on its latest generation of 737 to prevent the plane’s nose from getting too high and causing the aircraft to stall.

But in the fatal incident last month, it appeared to have forced the nose down after receiving erroneous information from sensors.

On March 10, a Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Air crashed, killing all 157 people on board. There are concerns that a similar malfunction may have caused the crash.

Tjahjono declined to comment on remarks by Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges that there were “clear similarities” between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash.

“If there’s a new development and KNKT has access to information on the ET302 accident, we will look into and analyse it thoroughly to complement our investigation into the Lion Air crash,” he said. 

Tjahjono also denied that KNKT had leaked the contents of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), after Reuters reported quoting anonymous sources that the pilots scrambled through the handbook to save the aircraft.

“They are not the same as the contents of the CVR. The accounts are someone else’s opinion,” he said.

Another KNKT investigator, Nurcahyo Utomo, said: “Based on the CVR, we can assume that for the most part of the flight, they were calm.”

“In the last few seconds of the flight, it seemd they panicked after they realized they could not recover the aircraft,” he added. 

No signs of life as search goes on week after Indonesia mine collapse

Rescue workers have detected no signs of life as the search continued for dozens of people still buried after last week’s collapse of an unlicensed gold mine in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province, an official said Tuesday.  

Scores of miners were buried after a wooden platform they were using at the mine in Bolaang Mongondow district collapsed on February 26 due to unstable soil, officials said.

Searchers found four more bodies and body parts on Monday, bringing the confirmed death toll to at least 13, said Ferry Arianto, spokesman for the provincial search and rescue agency.

Twenty miners were rescued, but two of them died later, he said. It was not clear how many were still buried, with estimates ranging from 30 to 70. 

“We used a life sensor but there were no signs that any victims were still alive,” he said.  

“Only 20 families have so far come forward, because the workers came from outside the area and they didn’t know each other,”      

Deadly accidents in artisanal gold mines are not uncommon in Indonesia.  

There are at least 1,000 such mines across the archipelago, according the Indonesian People’s Mining Association.  

The United Nations Environmental Programme says artisanal and small-scale miners make up 90 per cent of the global gold mine workforce of about 15 million people.

Artisanal miners often work under dangerous conditions, with exposure to mercury used to extract gold from ore among the hazards, the UN said.  

Families of ill-fated Lion Air victims still hope for miracle as DNA tests underway

Toni Priyono Adhi still keeps alive his hopes that his daughter Puspita Eka Putri will pick up her phone and answer his calls, although deep down he knows that it is very unlikely.

Putri, who celebrated her 24th birthday in Oct 26, was one of the 189 people on board the Lion Air JT610 flight from Jakarta bound for Pangkal Pinang in Bangka Island which crashed Monday morning into the sea off Karawang in West Java, about 75 kilometers from Jakarta.

“I just keep praying for a miracle. We keep trying to call her and call out her name in case she replies,” Adhi told journalists at the police hospital in East Jakarta where body parts plucked from the crash site were taken and families of the victims are submitting ante mortem data for identification.

Adhi said it was Putri’s first business trip with a beauty products company, that she joined for a month. Her mother, who identified herself as Nuke, said it was Putri’s first flight by herself.

“We always took flights together. I always picked her up in her campus when she was in college. My daughter, she was really beautiful. God had entrusted her to me,” said a visibily shaken Nuke as she held up her daugther’s picture and kissed it.

Nuke showed the photo of her daughter, Puspita Eka Putri at the police hospital in East Jakarta where she and her husband submitted ante mortem data for Putri’s identification on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Photo: The Parrot/Ismira Lutfia Tisnadibrata)

Imbalo Sakti remembers her brother-in-law, Capt. Musa Effendi as a kind-hearted man whom the family members looked up to.

Sakti said that Effendi, who worked as a portmaster in Muntok port on the western part of Bangka Island, was on his way for a meeting in Pangkal Pinang.

“He had traveled from Medan, North Sumatra, where he had attended a Quran recital in his hometown to give thanks for he and his wife’s safe return from the Hajj two months ago,” Sakti said.

Since there is no direct flight from Medan to Pangkal Pinang, which are about 1,000 kilometers apart, he had to fly to Jakarta and take a connecting flight to Pangkal Pinang.

“My daddy has been posted in Bangka Island for two years. He spent the night at a transit hotel in Jakarta’s airport and took the morning flight to Pangkal Pinang,” Effendi’s daughter Dwi Ratna said.

Anugrah Satria, a frequent Lion Air flyer, said he met Alfiani Hidayatul Solikah during his flights and became friends with the 19-year-old flight attendant.

“It was her first job and it was her wish to become a flight attendant. I met her on one of her first flights as a stewardess on a flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta,” Satria said.

“She was always nice to passengers, and smiled a lot. She never complained about her job,” Satria said.

The captain pilot of the brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane, which had only 800 flying hours since its initial operation on Aug 15, was an Indian from New Delhi, Bhavye Suneja.

Media reports said he was a trainee pilot with Emirates before joining Lion Air in March 2011.

The Indian Embassy in Jakarta confirmed the pilot’s nationality in a tweet, saying that “most unfortunate that Indian Pilot Bhavye Suneja who was flying JT610 also lost his life…Embassy is in touch with Crisis Center and coordinating for all assistance.”

A number of Indonesian officials were also on board the flight, with the Finance Ministry having lost 21 officials, out of whom 12 were from the tax directorate general, who were on commuting back to their post in Pangkal Pinang.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani visited police hospital and met with the grief-stricken families of her staff on Monday night to console them.

The ministry’s head of communications, Nufransa Wira Sakti, said in a statement that they were officials at the ministry’s Pangkal Pinang office.

“They were heading back to their work after spending the weekend to attend a ministry event on Oct 27 and to attend a coordination meeting, while also spending the weekend with their families in Jakarta,” Sakti said.

Also among the victims were three police personnel from Bangka Belitung police, three staff from the oil and gas directorate general of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, 10 staff from the State Audit Agency, six regional lawmakers of Bangka Belitung province, and four employees of the state-mining company, PT Timah.

Following the crash, Australia issued a warning to ban all Australian government officials and contractors from flying Lion Air or their subsidiary airlines and the decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear.

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Police forensic team lay out debris recovered from Lion Air JT 610 crash site at the Tanjung Priok port on Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 (Photo: The Parrot/Ismira Lutfia Tisnadibrata)

As of Tuesday afternoon, search efforts to collect debris from the plane are still under way with vessels sailing back and forth to Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok port to drop bags containing plane debris and body parts the search and rescue teams collected from the crash site, while police forensic teams continued sorting out the debris and personal belongings of the passengers on the dock.

The search and rescue agency’s deputy director for operations, Nugroho Budi said they have sent 13 body bags to the police hospital from Tuesday’s operation and found 52 national identity cards.

“The search and rescue team will expand the search area to a radius of 15 nautical miles from the crash site,” Budi said in a press conference.

Head of medical and health of the national police, Arthur Tampi, said the forensic team had examined 24 body bags and identified 87 body parts.

Tampi added that they had not been able to identify any of the victims as they received only body parts and none of the bodies were intact.

“The bodies have deteriorated in pieces and some of the bones were loose. I even saw parts of an infant body in one of the body bags,” Ari Dono, deputy of the national police chief said after an inspection to the police hospital morgue.

The story was first published in Arab News


Jokowi janji percepat pembahasan RUU masyarakat adat

Kekecewaan Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) karena Presiden Joko Widodo batal membuka kongres nasional mereka di Tanjung Gusta, Medan, 15 Maret lalu sedikit terobati setelah akhirnya bertemu dengan Jokowi di Istana Negara, Rabu, 22 Maret 2017.

Dalam pertemuan tersebut, Jokowi mengatakan dukungannya untuk mempercepat pembahasan Rancangan Undang Undang Pengakuan dan Perlindungan Hak-hak Masyarakat Adat (RUU PPHMA), yang saat ini draftnya masih dalam proses pemutakhiran di Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR).

RUU inisiatif DPR yang proses legislasinya sudah tertunda lama ini masuk dalam daftar Program Legislasi Nasional atau Prolegnas 2017 dan merupakan satu dari 49 RUU yang diprioritaskan dalam Prolegnas.

“Pemerintah akan terus mendorong agar [RUU] itu segera diselesaikan. Karena ini juga menyangkut kebutuhan pemerintah dalam menyelesaikan persoalan-persoalan terutama yang berkaitan dengan lahan. Payung hukumnya kalau sudah selesai, ini akan lebih cepat,” ujar Jokowi dalam pertemuannya dengan AMAN.

Anggota DPR Komisi II, Arif Wibowo, juga menyatakan dukungannya agar RUU ini bisa segera disahkan agar dapat mengafirmasikan perlindungan terhadap sebagian masyarakat Indonesia yang hidupnya berdasarkan hukum adat.

“RUU ini akan memperjelas definisi masyarakat adat secara terbatas namun utuh dan jelas,” ujar Arif kepada The Parrot.

Bila disahkan, UU itu akan menjadikan 2.332 komunitas masyarakat adat yang tergabung dalam AMAN, yang jumlahnya mencakup sekitar 17 juta hingga 20 juta individu sebagai subyek hukum dan mengafirmasikan hak-hak masyarakat adat. Menurut perkiraan AMAN, masih ada 50 juta jiwa masyarakat adat lain yang belum teridentifikasi.

Rukka Sombolinggi, sekretaris jendral AMAN periode 2017–2022 yang baru terpilih di kongres Tanjung Gusta, membenarkan dukungan Jokowi terhadap RUU masyarakat adat dan pembentukan Satuan Tugas Masyarakat Adat.

Desakan kepada Jokowi untuk membentuk Satuan Tugas (Satgas) Masyarakat Adat merupakan salah satu dari 14 resolusi yang dihasilkan dalam kongres Tanjung Gusta.

“Setelah pertemuan tadi, AMAN dan Kepala Staf Presiden langsung bertemu dan bekerja untuk memastikan satgas dibentuk, karena Presiden sudah menyatakan di hadapan perwakilan masyarakat adat agar satgas dibentuk,” ujar Rukka dalam pernyataannya kepada The Parrot, 22 Maret.

Satgas ini akan membangun model penyelesaian konflik, merumuskan dan melaksanakan pemulihan kepada masyarakat adat yang telah menjadi korban pelanggaan hak asasi manusia dan menyusun kajian tentang harmonisasi berbagai peraturan dan undang-undang yang terkait masyarakat adat.

Rukka mengatakan ketiadaan undang-undang yang khusus mengatur tentang masyarakat adat mengakibatkan banyaknya perampasan tanah dan wilayah adat dari masyarakat adat.

“Kriminalisasi pemuka dan pejuang adat biasanya terjadi saat ada perebutan lahan untuk pembangunan atau pembukaan lahan kelapa sawit,” ujar Rukka.

Menurutnya, sejauh ini tercatat ada 233 individu dari berbagai masyarakat adat di Indonesa yang sedang berhadapan dengan hukum karena mempertahankan wilayahnya dan diperkirakan masih ada banyak kasus lain yang tidak tercatat.

Jokowi juga mengatakan bahwa pemerintah masih dalam proses untuk mengesahkan pengakuan terhadap 590.000 hektar hutan adat.

“Kalau itu kita berikan ke masyarakat adat, saya yakin hutan itu akan lebih lestari, lebih terjaga, lebih terpelihara,” ujar Jokowi.

Pemerintah telah menyerahkan 13.122 hektar lahan hutan kepada sembilan kelompok masyarakat adat atau sebanyak 5.700 kepala keluarga di pulau Sumatra, Jawa dan Sulawesi pada bulan Desember 2016, namun AMAN menganggap luas hutan yang diserahkan itu masih jauh dari 8,4 juta hektar wilayah adat yang dipetakan AMAN, yang sebagian besarnya sudah berubah fungsi dan dikuasai negara dan investor untuk pembangunan dan industri.

Pemenuhan dan pemulihan hak-hak masyarakat adat merupakan bagian janji kampanye pasangan Jokowi dan Jusuf Kalla pada pemilihan presiden 2104. Dalam Nawacita atau sembilan program pemerintahan mereka, ada enam komitmen yang dijanjikan kepada masyarakat adat.

Beberapa hal dalam enam komitmen itu antara lain peninjauan ulang dan penyesuaian peraturan dan undang-undang terkait pengakuan, penghormatan, perlindungan dan pemajuan hak-hak masyarakat adat, melanjutkan proses legislasi RUU PPHMA, memastikan akan menjalankan proses legislasi mengenai pengelolaan tanah dan sumber daya alam sesuai norma-norma pengakuan hak-hak masyarakat adat dan mendorong adanya inisiatif penyusunan RUU yang berkaitan dengan penyelesaian konflik-konflik agraria yang timbul akibat pengabaian hak-hak masyarakat adat.

Sebagai dukungan untuk pencapaian komitmen itu, Rukka mengatakan pada masa kampanye lalu AMAN secara organisasi sepakat untuk mendukung Jokowi sebagai calon presiden dan memobilisasi anggotanya di seluruh Indonesia untuk memilih Jokowi.

Rescuers found wreckage of crashed police plane

Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency (Basarnas) said on Sunday that it has found the wreckage of a police plane that crashed in the waters off Lingga Island of Riau Islands province.

“We have found the plane’s wreckage at 24 meters deep just before the rescue operation was called off at 5 pm. It’s about three meters long,”  agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo said in a live interview with news broadcaster TV One.

“We didn’t find more human remains, but we have better chances to find more now that we discovered the wreckage,” he added.

The M28 Skytruck plane was carrying 13 police officers – three pilots, two mechanics and eight passengers – to Batam Island near Singapore from Pangkal Pinang when it lost contact just before noon at 5,000 feet on Saturday.

The plane lost contact with air traffic controller at 40 nautical mile southeast of Tanjung Pinang in Belitung Island.

Earlier in the day, Soelistyo told a press conference that rescuers have found parts of human remains. The remains were stored in three body bags and have been handed over the body bags to the police for identification.

The site where the plane has plunged 24 meter deep into the waters has been marked by a buoy.

Fishermen discovered plane debris at around 2.30 pm on Saturday and later in the day, search and rescue team identified the crash location from the bubbles believed to be from the plane’s fuel.

Rescuers retrieved debris from crashed police plane. Photo: Basarnas

Among the items retrieved from the waters were a tire of a plane, a piece of an airplane upholstery and the plane’s red box and manual box. Photos from the agency also showed rescuers retrieving parts of police uniforms and photos of police officers.

Two warships and two Singaporean aircrafts were among the 15 vessels helping with the search-and-rescue mission, alongside 300 personnel including divers, across a 200-nautical-mile search area, Soelistyo added.

“We will continue the main rescue operation for seven days, but we will evaluate it after the first three days, which is the critical part,” he said.


Coal downturn leaves behind deaths, environmental ruin

For nearly two years Rahmawati has been seeking justice for her 10-year-old son, Muhammad Raihan, who drowned in a water-filled coal mine pit in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province. Continue reading “Coal downturn leaves behind deaths, environmental ruin”

An Indonesian miner survives 300 meter underground as rescue attempt underway

A rescue operation was under way Sunday to free a miner who has been trapped for seven days in an underground gold mine on Halmahera island in Indonesia’s North Maluku province.

Solo drill operator Mursalim Sahman, 36, is reportedly in good health despite being trapped in a mining chamber 300 metres underground and has maintained contact with his family using a newly installed phone line.

The Gosowong gold mine is operated by PT Nusa Halmahera Mineral (NHM), a joint venture between Australia’s Newcrest Mining, which controls 75 per cent of the shares, and state-owned miner PT Aneka Tambang.

“Earlier this morning we broke through into the chamber where Mursalim is located after completing the boring of a 70-centimetre diameter hole approximately 38 metres deep. This is a significant milestone in developing our primary rescue option,” Newcrest managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswan said in a statement released Sunday.

“Before we attempt the extraction, we will need to line the bore hole so that we can safely bring Mursalim up. It is expected that lining the hole will take several days,” Biswan said.

Local news web site reported that there were 50 miners who were working in the Kencana underground mine tunnel when it collapsed on Monday, but 49 managed to get out, while Mursalim, who is a native of Halmahera, failed to do the same as he was manning heavy machinery.

The rescue operation has been under way since then. Operation of the company’s underground mines, which produce gold and silver dore, has been halted in the meantime.

A spokeswoman for NHM, Herastuti Haryogyo said the company was able to establish first contact with Mursalim Wednesday at around 10:00 Eastern Indonesia Time (WIT) since the collapse through a 54-meter bore hole with small diameter.

According to the company, Mursalim told the rescue team that he has some food and water supply to go by underground.

The company said a “geotechnical” event of unknown cause spurred the mine collapse, which occurred at 8:30 pm on Monday.

NHM workforce is about 1,700 employees and contractors. It produced 331,555 ounces of gold as of June 2015.


Three killed in Air Force plane crash

Three people were killed on Wednesday when a military plane crashed into a residential area in Indonesia’s East Java province, officials said. Continue reading “Three killed in Air Force plane crash”