Disasters & Accidents

Throttle system failure caused Air Sriwijaya crash in Indonesia

Jakarta, Nov 10 (EFE).- Problems in the acceleration system caused the accident in Indonesia of the Boeing 737 operated by the airline Air Sriwijaya in January 2021, which left 62 dead, according to the final report published Thursday by the Indonesian authorities.

The plane took off from Jakarta airport and climbed to 10,900 feet (3,300 meters), a height from which it stalled until it crashed into the Java Sea near the capital, killing 50 passengers and 12 crew members.

The aircraft, with almost 27 years of service, took off without problems, engaged the autopilot and upon reaching 8,150 feet began to experience mishaps with the throttle stick.

The final report of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee said the throttle stick on the right side of the aircraft remained stationary while the left stick was lowered too far to compensate.

This caused the plane to lean too far to the left to the point the pilots could not regain control of the aircraft and it went into a stall.

In addition, the document indicates that the pilots detected the problem when it was already too late despite “having time to realize the asymmetry of the device beforehand” and points to a possible relaxation of the pilots when the automatic system of flight.

The preliminary report, published in February 2021, said that days before the accident, two pilots twice reported a malfunction in the acceleration system, which was repaired by the mechanics.

The committee said it was difficult for them to analyze the situation in the plane’s cabin because the captain’s voice was not recorded and added that the report, which according to the international standard is published one year after the accident, was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The agency, which specifies that there are no regulations or guidelines for this type of scenario, emphasized the need to train pilots to prevent a similar incident from occurring and to know the most appropriate way to act if it occurs.

The Sriwijaya Air plane crash is the latest in a long history of plane crashes in Indonesia.

With more than 17,000 islands, the country has the worst flying incident record in Asia, after having suffered 104 civil air accidents with 2,301 fatalities since 1945, according to data from the Aviation Safety Network.

The worst accident in Indonesian aviation history occurred in September 1997, when a Garuda airlines Airbus crashed in North Sumatra Island, killing all 234 people on board. EFE


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