: Safety

SIN-Coll-20170330-1

Ground Collision between Scoot 787 and Emirates A380 at Singapore Changi

On 30 March 2017 at around 0145 local time at Singapore Changi Airport, a Scoot Boeing 787-9 (9V-OJA) operating flight TZ188 to Tianjin collided with an Emirates A380 (A6-EUB) that was preparing to depart operating EK405 to Dubai.

SIN-APC

Area of occurence in the red circle.

9V-OJA was taxiing from the eastern side of the airport via A6, NC3 and turned left onto WA where its left wing collided with the right wing tip fence of A6-EUB, pushing back from stand C23.

As a result of this incident, Emirates EK405 Singapore – Dubai  (MEL-SIN-DXB) was cancelled, and 9V-OJA was towed to the  Northern Remote Apron (parking stands 307-310) and 9V-OJE was called in to operate TZ188 which departed at around 6am Singapore Time.

Kerusakan pada A380 Emirates A6-EUB
Damage to Emirates A380 A6-EUB
Kerusakan pada sayap 787-9 Scoot 9V-OJA
Damage to left wing of Scoot 787-9 9V-OJA
citilink-note7-11

Did Citilink just told people to put Galaxy Note 7 in checked baggage?

With all the attention given to the Galaxy Note 7, advisories regarding its handling for airlines require advisories that are clear and consistent for the sake of safety. Many Indonesian airlines have issued advisories/guidelines/rules regarding the Galaxy Note 7, and are mostly clear and consistent. However, this morning I was shocked when someone sent me the following picture, that includes a fatal error.

citilink-note7-01

Safety Advisory for all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Users:

  • Do not activate and/or charge the battery of the device while on board the aircraft.
  • Do not stow the device in your baggage in the cabin
  • Report to the crew when when you have problems with the device (excessive heat, smoke, missing, fallen from your seat).
What’s wrong with this?

Have a look at the second point:

  • Do not stow the device in your baggage in the cabin

where is the problem? The use of the phrase “baggage in the cabin” in English is clear enough, but in Indonesian the context can be ambiguous as it means I am not allowed to stow it in a bag in the cabin, which means I have to carry it with me, or it gets stowed in my baggage that is not in the passenger cabin (ie: checked baggage that goes in the hold).

In the advisory, Citilink quoted the FAA’s statement on the Galaxy Note 7:

In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.

So if the FAA tells people to not stow them in any checked baggage, why does Citilink tell people to not stow it in the cabin (which means stowing it in the luggage hold if you’re not carrying the phone)?

Language issue gone bad?

In my opinion, this “inconsistency” comes from a chronic problem in understanding or translating English into Indonesian, which is an industry wide problem in aviation (and one that is hard to correct because when it comes to English, the “senior is always right” culture is quite strong). The advisory is also displayed at the airline’s web homepage:

citilink-note7-10

Ironically, the running text also contains the correct version of the advisory on the Galaxy Note 7:

Demi menjaga keselamatan dan keamanan penerbangan bersama  Citilink Indonesia mengimbau kepada seluruh penumpang untuk menonaktifkan seluruh peralatan elektronik, terutama Samsung Galaxy Note 7, dan tidak melakukan pengisian baterai selama penerbangan, serta tidak memasukkannya ke dalam bagasi.

Translated, it means:

In the interest of safety and security, Citilink Indonesia advises passengers to switch off all eletronic devices, especially the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and to not charge batteries, during flight, and to not stow them in your baggage.

Baggage, in the absence of other words, normally means, checked baggage.

So now we have conflicting advisories on the SAME WEBPAGE!

citilink-note7-11

For those interested, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a circular on the first working day after the FAA statement (the Monday being the Eid-Al-Adha holiday), which, while in Indonesian, stated correctly that lithium batteries, power banks, and Samsung Galaxy Note 7, should not be stowed in checked luggage.

se18-2016-note7-2

se18-2016-note7-1

There is no ambiguity in the circular. However, the erroneous version issued by Citilink only started appearing today (27 September). Surely it would be better for Citilink to refer to the DGCA circular which is not in error rather than mistranslating the FAA statement. It would be wise for Citilink to expeditiously remove all erroneous advisories on this matter to prevent misunderstandings out on the field that could have fatal consequences, and to replace them with correct, consistent, and unambigious revised advisory, as soon as possible.

Pertanyaan saya sekarang adalah akankah himbauan Citilink tersebut diubah agar selaras dengan surat edaran Kementerian Perhubungan dan FAA? Menurut saya, kalau mengutip himbauan FAA saja tidak benar, sebaiknya dasar acuan himbauan maskapai ini diubah dari FAA ke Kemenhub daripada bikin bingung dan mungkin malah malu²in. Yang pasti himbauan yang ambigu dan berpotensi mengakibatkan kesalahan fatal dilapangan, harus diganti dengan yang konsisten dan tidak ambigu secepatnya!

pk-jki-2

Medevac Learjet skids off runway at Halim Airport

Last night, amidst rain storms that covered Jakarta, a Nusantara Air Charter Learjet 31 registered PK-JKI slid off the runway at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airpot (HLP/WIHH) in Jakarta at 1946 local time (1246Z). As a result, the airport was closed for almost 3 hours, causing disruptions to scheduled flights. Inbound flights that were immediately affected were:

  1. QG812 SUBHLP PK-GQM dvt CGK
  2. ID7108 PDGHLP PK-LBW dvt CGK
  3. ID7538 JOGHLP PK-LBZ dvt CGK
  4. ID7516 SUBHLP PK-LUF dvt CGK

Some passengers were bused to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK/WIII) in order to catch flights from there while waiting for the runway to reopen.

pk-jki
PK-JKI at Halim Airport in its earlier days

PK-JKI was operating a medical evacuation flight from Yogyakarta Adi Sucipto Airport (JOG/WAHH), and arrived in Jakarta area about 1 hour after rainstorms occurred. Various flights operated into Halim Airport on the ILS runway 24. The Learjet 31 slid off the right-hand side of the runway and rested on the grass between taxiways Bravo and Charlie. The weather conditions at the time was 1000m visibility with winds at 8-13 knots (direction not reported).

pk-jki-4
PK-JKI position early this morning

According to early reports, the aircraft contacted Halim at 1233Z, and commenced approach for ILS24 at 1244Z following a Batik Air 737 a few minutes ahead of it, and the weather information were relayed to the crew. At 1246Z the aircraft slid and the crew made a radio transmission just prior to skidding (likely inadvertently). The crash alert was immediately activated and fire and rescue as well as ambulances were immediately on scene. 7 persons were on board and were evacuated safely.

One of the NOTAMs issued last night regarding the accident:

A2905/16 NOTAMN
Q) WIIF/QMRLC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/0616S10653E005
A) WIHH B) 1609251310 C) 1609251355
E) RWY 06/24 CLSD DUE TO BLOCK ACFT
CREATED: 25 Sep 2016 13:10:00
SOURCE: WRRRYNYX

This was later extended to 1545UTC in a follow up NOTAM.

pk-jki-3
Prior to removal this morning.
pk-jki-7
Damage to left wing suggest a ground contact at some stage near the landing.

The aircraft was severely damaged with the right main landing gear absent from its position. The right-hand engine is also dislodged from its normal position. The most baffling is the damage to the left wing. How the aircraft bent the left wing and losing its right main landing gear, is something for the investigators to find out.

Rinjani-20160801-1120

Mount Rinjani eruption closes Lombok Airport and may affect Bali’s Airport tonight

As previously expected, Mount Rinjani’s eruption has resulted in closure of Lombok Praya International Airport (LOP/WADL) due to volcanic ash, but the ASHTAM issued by VAAC Darwin at 1120UTC may result in service disruption at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS/WADD) as well.

Rinjani-20160801-1120
Graphical depiction of the volcanic ash dispersal from Mount Rinjani’s eruption, as per Volcanic Ash Advisory issued today at 1120UTC.

VA ADVISORY
DTG: 20160801/1120Z
VAAC: DARWIN
VOLCANO: RINJANI 264030
PSN: S0825 E11628
AREA: INDONESIA
SUMMIT ELEV: 3726M
ADVISORY NR: 2016/9
INFO SOURCE: HIMAWARI-8
AVIATION COLOUR CODE: ORANGE
ERUPTION DETAILS: VA TO FL140 EXT 60NM TO WSW, FL200 EXT 85NM S
OBS VA DTG: 01/1120Z
OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL140 S0823 E11532 – S0832 E11524 – S0903 E11527 – S0916 E11541 – S0909 E11557 – S0850 E11545 – S0829 E11542 MOV SW 10KT SFC/FL200 S0849 E11611 – S0910 E11611 – S0930 E11619 – S0940 E11643 – S0932 E11704 – S0911 E11638 – S0857 E11633 – S0843 E11633 – S0838 E11625 MOV S 15KT
FCST VA CLD +6 HR: 01/1720Z SFC/FL140 S0826 E11516 – S0831 E11437 – S0902 E11439 – S0936 E11502 – S0917 E11545 – S0851 E11523 SFC/FL200 S0900 E11610 – S0947 E11619 – S1025 E11700 – S0939 E11752 – S0912 E11647 – S0855 E11636 FCST VA CLD +12 HR: 01/2320Z SFC/FL200 S0948 E11621 – S1047 E11659 – S0945 E11755 – S0920 E11700
FCST VA CLD +18 HR: 02/0520Z NO VA EXP
RMK: HIGH CONFIDENCE IN OBS POLYGON. VA TO FL140 EXPECTED TO REACH DPS AIRPORT BETWEEN 01/1130Z AND 01/1230Z AND DISSIPATE WITHIN 9 HOURS. VA TO FL200 MOV S EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE WITHIN 15HRS.
NXT ADVISORY: NO LATER THAN 20160801/1220Z

Possible service disruptions may occur between 1130UTC and 2130UTC tonight. If you are travelling by air to/from Bali tonight or know someone who is, please check the airline for latest information regarding their flight operations to/from Bali.

Current NOTAM for closure of Lombok Praya Airport due to the eruption:

B4640/16 NOTAMR B4639/16
Q) WAAF/QFALC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/0845S11616E005 A) WADL B) 1608010855 C) 1608020200 E) AD CLSD DUE TO RINJANI VOLCANIC ASH CREATED: 01 Aug 2016 08:55:00 SOURCE: WRRRYNYX

LOP-Compo2

Mount Rinjani Eruptions – Some flight disruptions to Bali and Lombok possible

Mount Rinjani at Lombok island erupted today and volcanic ash plumes were observed to have reached high altitudes. Initial reports suggested that the ash plume could reach 32000 feet and that it would spread south to southwest from the volcano.

LOP-Compo
Earlier (now revised) volcanic ash dispersal projections had a wide extent and predicted to reach 32,000ft, causing worries at several airlines.

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Darwin ash issued several ashtams on this volcano today. The current one at the time of this article’s publication is:

DTG: 20160801/0600Z
VAAC: DARWIN
VOLCANO: RINJANI 264030
PSN: S0825 E11628
AREA: INDONESIA
SUMMIT ELEV: 3726M
ADVISORY NR: 2016/4
INFO SOURCE: HIMAWARI-8
AVIATION COLOUR CODE: RED
ERUPTION DETAILS: ERUPTION TO FL320 HAS CEASED. REMNANT VA
TO FL200 MOV S.
OBS VA DTG: 01/0600Z
OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL200 S0823 E11627 – S0823 E11615 – S0831
E11612 – S0852 E11621 – S0848 E11632 – S0832 E11624 MOV S
10KT
FCST VA CLD +6 HR: 01/1200Z SFC/FL200 S0828 E11611 – S0851
E11614 – S0915 E11628 – S0904 E11648 – S0829 E11626
FCST VA CLD +12 HR: 01/1800Z NOT AVBL
FCST VA CLD +18 HR: 02/0000Z NOT AVBL
RMK: LATEST SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS THE ERUPTION HAS CEASED.
REMNANT VA TO FL200 EXT UP TO 30NM TO S IS MOVING TO THE
SOUTH AND DISSIPATING. HIGH CONFIDENCE IN OBS POLYGON.
HEIGHT AND FCST BASED ON OBS VA MOVEMENT TO S AND ACCESS-R
MODEL GUIDANCE.
NXT ADVISORY: NO LATER THAN 20160801/0900Z

Eruptions have ceased and the ash dispersal projections has been revised as mentioned above. Volcanic ash is predicted to reach Lombok International Airport (LOP/WADL) by no late than 8pm local time (1200UTC), between the surface and 10,000 feet.

LOP-Compo2
Current ash dispersal projection with further extent predicted for 1200UTC.

The earlier projections caused some worries at some airlines, notably Indonesia Air Asia and Virgin Australia who rerouted flights to bypass the ash dispersal projections. One Virgin Australia flight from Brisbane to Bali reportedly landed in Darwin, possibly to take up extra fuel to allow for the rerouting.

A meeting is now taking place for aviation stake holders (notably AirNav and the Meteorology office, BMKG), to consider whether or not to close Lombok Praya Airport and if so, when.

For continuous updates on the situation please monitor the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Darwin at:

http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/advisories.shtml

GIA646AMQ-feature

Garuda 737 Low Fuel Emergency – Can We Seek Fairness At The DGCA On Serious Incidents?

At 0730UTC today I received a message, which had been spreading around various industry chat groups:

GIA646 WIII-WAPP at 05.22 req Divert to WAAA and at time 06.26 pilot state distress msg “Mayday 2x.” due to short fuel endurance just only 13 minutes” at position 56 miles east of Mks. A/c normal landing at 06.43 with high priority.

Being my usual curious self, I went to FlightRadar24 and searched for the aircraft. I soon found out the aircraft was operated by a 737-800 with registration PK-GMK, and that the aircraft had left relatively on time from Jakarta (CGK/WIII) towards Ambon (AMQ/WAPP), the aircraft made it to Ambon, then diverted to Makassar (UPG/WAAA).

GIA646AMQ
Flightpath of GIA646 overflying UPG towards AMQ, then diverting to UPG.

A search at another site, revealed the following weather information:

  • METAR: WAPP 310030Z 06003KT 020V080 2000 -RA FEW012CB BKN013 25/24 Q1011 TEMPO TL0100 5000 RMK CB TO E
  • TAF: WAPP 310700Z 3107/0106 VRB06KT 1000 +RA FEW012CB BKN013 TEMPO 3112/3115 6000 NSW

Back to the replay. The following rough timeline was constructed by me based on the Flightradar24 replay (times in UTC, and there is a 7 minute or so time difference with the report above):

  • 0400 GIA646 abeam of Kendari at FL350
  • 0411 Batik Air A320 departed AMQ
  • 0430 (approx) GIA646 commended descent
  • 0443 Aircraft descended through 10000ft
  • 0447 Aircraft at 6000ft about to enter holding at AUDRI at 6000ft.
  • 0455 Batik Air 737-900ER departed AMQ, and 1 Wings Air ATR72 either before or after it.
  • 0510 Aircraft left holding at AUDRI and passed 4000ft
  • 0514 Aircraft at 400ft and commenced go-around.
  • 0516 Aircraft reached 4000ft amidst missed-approach procedure, to return to AUDRI.
  • 0525 Aircraft left holding fix at AUDRI to divert to Makassar (UPG/WAAA), 1 737-300 (unknown) was holding, and landed not long after. Aircraft did not hold after the missed-approach. Aircraft cruised at FL340 during the diversion and nothing out of the ordinary was observed.
  • 0613 Top of Descent inbound UPG/WAAA
  • 0634 Aircraft commenced approach
  • 0636 Aircraft landed at UPG/WAAA
  • 0709 A Lion Air 737-900ER landed at AMQ/WAPP
AMQ-ILS04Approach31Mar2016
ILS Approach chart for Ambon runway 04, showing waypoint AUDRI.

Before GIA646 arrived on scene, several aircraft had been holding due to weather at Ambon, but all had landed by the time it entered the area. From here it can be ascertained that apart from the bad weather and the go-around, nothing was unusual and it made little sense for the aircraft to declare Mayday due to low fuel upon descent to Makassar, unless a major screw up in the fuel planning occured, which was unlikely.

GIA646AMQ-2
GIA646 did not spend too long holding at AUDRI and immediately set upon its diversion after the missed approach.

Let’s look back at what was reported:

GIA646 WIII-WAPP at 05.22 req Divert to WAAA and at time 06.26 pilot state distress msg “Mayday 2x.” due to short fuel endurance just only 13 minutes” at position 56 miles east of Mks. A/c normal landing at 06.43 with high priority.

If they only had 13 minutes of fuel left, why didn’t they declare the emergency before, after all, they declared it amidst their descent.

There is a possibility that there is a misunderstanding about the nature of the emergency and the requirement of fuel reserves. When planning your flight, under IFR rules in Indonesia, you must carry enough fuel to go from Origin to Destination, plus fuel to go from your Destination to you Alternate, and hold over your alternate for if I remember correctly, 30 minutes. You must also land with a final reserve of 30 minutes flight.

When do you declare your Mayday if you are low on fuel? The obvious answer is to declare a Mayday if you are sure your estimated fuel remaining after landing is going to be less than 30 minutes endurance.

Now while we don’t know the facts at the moment, we know that GIA646 did not have an excessive holding period near Ambon, and for it to claim to have only 13 minutes left of fuel while still on descent would constitute a massive screw up, I mean, MASSIVE! After the previous transport minister said “airlines should follow Garuda’s example”, and making rules requiring “face-to-face briefing between dispatchers and pilots,” if that aircraft did have only 13 minutes of fuel left, it just shows that those rules were just a burden with little or no use to generally accepted normal methodologies used in the world.

When the crew reported having only 13 minutes endurance at 0626, what was most likely was that they were going to land with less than 30 minutes of fuel on board, or, 43 minutes of fuel left. The aircraft landed at 0643, which was 17 minutes later, the Mayday call was justified.

A quick look at CASR Part 830.2 indicate that this is a serious incident as it involves:

830.2 b. 15) Fuel quantity requiring the declaration of an emergency by the pilot.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Since the Air Asia 8501 accident, many had become concerned that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation were either by their own will, or by the instructions of the then Transport Minister (who seemed to have went on a rampage to blame LCCs and calling them as unsafe, and insisted that the industry should follow Garuda), as it put in several punitive regulations when it came to accidents and serious incidents. For this case, this would include:

  1. The suspension of routes, in this case the suspension of GIA646’s schedule until conclusion of the NTSC investigation.
  2. Barring the carrier, in this case, Garuda, from adding new routes and frequencies anywhere pending the investigation’s completion.
  3. Preventive grounding of the pilots involved, until the completion of the accident investigation.

Points 1 and 2 are, in the opinion of many in the industry (in Indonesia and the rest of the world), utterly useless, and may be aimed at sabotaging business recovery of airlines suffering these mishaps, likely under the premise of the then minister’s alleged favoritism of Garuda. Point 3, may appear normal but in Indonesia’s case at the moment, the grounding has always been extended to the whole investigation period (that is, until the publication of the final report, even if the interim report does not deem the crew actions to be a factor).

The challenge now for the DGCA and the current minister is to either:

  1. Prove impartiality by giving Garuda equal treatment to the other airlines that suffered serious incidents since these “silly rules” were put in place; or
  2. Remove these “silly rules” and restore common sense into our industry.

If the transport minister had not change, option 2 is out of the question, and option 1 would basically be slapping himself in the face. Regulatory partiality has been proven by one previous serious incident involving Citilink (Part of Garuda) that occurred since the “silly rules” were in force, escaping the punitive treatment by the DGCA, of which the saddest part of all is that some high ranking officials (well, I know at least one) there didn’t even know that it had happened.

QG861DecompMontage
Decompression case of QG861 several months ago constitutes as a serious incident under CASR 830, yet no route suspension, pilot groundings, nor investigations took place, raising suspicion of regulator’s favouritism.

I do hope that now, under the new minister, swift decision will be taken into putting alternative 1 in force while waiting for alternative 2 to take place. After all, the new minister had already announced he would make a wholesale review of rules that were counter-productive, which gives us in the industry a big ray of hope, and we do hope it includes these so-called “silly rules.”

ASHTAM-2010715-1

Malang Airport closed again due to Volcanic Ash

Malang Abdulrachman Saleh Airport (MLG/WARA) is closed until 0900LT 6JUL due to volcanic ash. 1 aircraft encountered volcanic ash this morning. At a glance, Ashtam issued by VAAC Darwin valid for this afternoon showed that Malang is within the projected ash plume dispersal cone, and will just be outside it tomorrow morning.

VA ADVISORY
DTG: 20160715/0700Z
VAAC: DARWIN
VOLCANO: TENGGER CALDERA 263310
PSN: S0757 E11257
AREA: INDONESIA
SUMMIT ELEV: 2329M
ADVISORY NR: 2016/369
INFO SOURCE: HIMAWARI-8
AVIATION COLOUR CODE: ORANGE
ERUPTION DETAILS: VA LAST OBS TO FL100 EXT TO NW AT 15/0230Z
OBS VA DTG: 15/0700Z
OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL100 S0745 E11241 – S0756 E11237 – S0759
E11258 – S0755 E11259 MOV NW 5KT
FCST VA CLD +6 HR: 15/1300Z SFC/FL100 S0805 E11237 – S0758
E11258 – S0754 E11258 – S0750 E11236
FCST VA CLD +12 HR: 15/1900Z SFC/FL100 S0755 E11231 – S0809
E11235 – S0758 E11259 – S0754 E11258
FCST VA CLD +18 HR: 16/0100Z SFC/FL100 S0759 E11227 – S0815
E11233 – S0758 E11259 – S0754 E11258
RMK: VA UNIDENTFIABLE ON CURRENT IMAGERY DUE TO MET CLOUD,
HOWEVER VA STILL EXPECTED IN AREA. HEIGHT AND MOVEMENT
DERIVED FROM HIMAWARI-8 IMAGERY, SURABAYA 15/0000Z IMAGERY
AND MODEL GUIDANCE.
NXT ADVISORY: NO LATER THAN 20160715/1300Z

ASHTAM-2010715-1

The airport is scheduled to reopen tomorrow however the above projections show significant chance that the closure may be extended as the edge of the projection cone for tomorrow morning is very close to the airport (within it’s approach path).

Readers who has a schedule to fly to/from Malang this afternoon or tomorrow morning should maintain regular contact with their airlines for information of flight cancellation, schedule changes, or for possibilities for flights to operate from nearby Surabaya instead (and to check if transportation between Malang and Surabaya is provided).

For continuous updates on the ASHTAM, go to:

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDD65300.shtml

ALERT: Malang Airport closed until 12JUL 0900LT due to volcanic ash

Malang Abdulrachman Saleh Airport (MLG/WARA) is closed until 0900LT 12JUL due to volcanic ash. 1 aircraft encountered volcanic ash this morning. At a glance, Ashtam issued by VAAC Darwin valid for this morning showed that Malang was at the edge of the projected ash plume dispersal.

ASHTAM-IDD65300

NOTAM for closure:

MLGNotam

For continuous updates on the ASHTAM, go to:

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDD65300.shtml

 

737320DDGMEL

Trying To Look Tough? Indonesia Grounds Aircraft Undergoing Maintenance

 

End of the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan is marked by the Eid-Al-Fitr holidays, in Indonesia that means peak season. It is usual for the ministry of transport to conduct ramp checks at the beginning of Ramadhan, to make sure that the fleet flying for the holidays are all airworthy. This year is no different. Ramp checks were done at 5 main airports (Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta (CGK/WIII), Surabaya Juanda (SUB/WARR), Bali Ngurah Rai (DPS/WADD), Medan Kualanamu (KNO/WIMM), and Makassar Hasanudin (UPG/WAAA)), between 27 May and 5 June.

“Sudah ada 133 pesawat di-ramp check untuk mengetahui sejak dini kesiapan armada melaksanakan angkutan di saat Lebaran,” jelas M Alwi ditemui detikcom di kantornya di Kemenhub, Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Jakarta Pusat, Rabu (8/6/2016).

(“We conducted ramp checks on 133 aircraft to see the airline fleet’s readiness for the Eid-Al-Fitr Holidays,” explained M Alwi to detikcom in his office at the Ministry of Transport in Jakarta on wednesday 8 June 2016)

Ministry of Transport’s Director of Airworthiness and Aircraft Operations (DAAO), M Alwi, further explained, “We checked the aircraft, technical records and insurance policies of the aircraft. We checked the tires and the brakes. We only checked the aircraft and crew. Generally, the airlines are prepared. Spare tires, and brake sets were ready.”

Not all is well unfortunately, he also said he found 3 aircraft that had to be grounded during the ramp checks. He explained that 1 aircraft had a repetitive problem from 11 May to 5 June 2016, and the aircraft was grounded as a consequence, and that the aircraft now has to be repaired to find the cause of the errors. He also stated that the certificate for the engineer doing the repairs has been revoked. “That aircraft is an Air Asia Airbus A320,” he explained.

The second aircraft is a 737-300 from ExpressAir, registration PK-TXZ, which has had repeated reports of high temperature for engine number 1. “We grounded the aircraft. It can’t fly now until it is serviceable. That aircraft belongs to ExpressAir,” he revealed.

The third aircraft is a 737-300 from Sriwijaya Air, where an “engine number 1 head seal assembly error” was found. “That aircraft was recertified on 5 June and was grounded,” explained Alwi.

Such exercise is probably good for PR, and would impress the public, but this time, it seems that 2 of the airlines refused to play along with this “charade.”

Sriwijaya Air’s public explanation

Sriwijaya Air Head of Corporate Communications, Agus Soedjono, explained that the aircraft had already been taken off service when the ramp checks occured.

“The aircraft was not ramp-checked, it wasn’t operational. The aircraft had been scheduled to undergo renewal of the Certificate of Airworthiness. They placed it under the ramp-check category, but it was not,” said Agus Soejono.

The aircraft was not grounded because it was found to be non-airworthy while being in operational status. The aircraft was already taken offline by the airline as it was scheduled to undergo it’s C-Check.

 

Air Asia’s public explanation

Indonesia Air Asia Corporate Communications Baskoro Adiwiyono released a written statement on 9 June, stating that the aircraft that was ramp-checked by the DAAO was already in the middle of a maintenance monitoring and actions in accordance with the maintenance manuals from the aircraft manufacturers. He added that the actions taken were already agreed upon and is conducted with regular oversight by the Indonesian aviation regulators.

In addition, Baskoro also stated that all of Indonesia Air Asia engineers and technicians are certified by the regulators in order to be able to conduct their duties, and that all their technicians/engineers are qualified to undertake their tasks and that no one has had their certification/license revoked as a result of the ramp check finding.

Are Groundings Necessary Or Are They Just Trying To Look Tough?

I personally wonder, did the DAAO even check whether the aircraft were operating within the MEL (Minimum Equipment List) or DDG (Dispatch Deviations Guide) issued by the manufacturers (and approved by the DAAO)? Somehow I am not sure they did. I cannot comment on the ExpressAir case, because there is a lack of information, but my cynical self can’t help think that, maybe the temperature issue was just from concerned pilots that the engine temperature was higher than normal, but within the limitations.

As to the Sriwijaya Air and Air Asia case, I am having difficulty in finding the right expression or remark to use. The 737 was already taken offline and already scheduled for maintenance, I fail to see how that can be a finding in a ramp check, unless the inspectors didn’t know what they were doing (which is a much bigger concern to the industry as a whole). The A320, was still within the MEL limits and was being monitored and maintenance actions planned. This shouldn’t even be a finding unless again, the inspector didn’t know what they were doing. The claim of having revoked someone’s license/certificate that was refuted reveals another big worry, that is the inspectors may not only not know what they were doing, but they were making findings not because the findings needed to be made, but because they wanted to please their bosses by (erroneously) trying to act tough to the airlines.

© YTN (click for original)

UPS MD-11 runway excursion at Seoul Incheon

An MD-11F registered N277UP operating UPS flight 5X61 overshot the runway 33L at Seoul Incheon (ICN/RKSI) airport on 6 June after aborting its take-off run at high speed. Aircraft came to rest beside the 15R approach lights with its nosewheel collapsed and engines damaged. The aircraft is reported to have struck the ILS Localizer antenna as well as several runway lights. All 4 crew members onboard evacuated by using the slide on the front left door. Cause of take-off rejection is unknown.

© YTN (click image for original)
© YTN (click image for original)

NOTAM for the runway closure due to accident.

Q) RKRR/QMRLC/IV/NBO/A/000/999/3727N12626E005
A) RKSI B) 1606061418 C) 1609061417
E) RWY 15R/33L CLSD DUE TO ACFT ACCIDENT
CREATED: 06 Jun 2016 14:19:00

© YTN (click for original)
© YTN (click for original)

Runway 15R Approach lights affected, causing the following NOTAM:

A0856/16 NOTAMN
Q) RKRR/QLAAS/IV/NBO/A/000/999/3728N12626E005
A) RKSI B) 1606061814 C) 1606131500
E) RWY 15R ALS U/S DUE TO MAINT
CREATED: 06 Jun 2016 18:15:00
SOURCE: RKRRYNYX A0855/16 NOTAMN

ILS is affected for 15R/33L causing the following NOTAM:

Q) RKRR/QICAS/I/NBO/A/000/999/3728N12626E005
A) RKSI B) 1606061429 C) 1608051500
E) ILS/DME RWY 15R/33L U/S DUE TO MAINT
CREATED: 06 Jun 2016 14:30:00
SOURCE: RKRRYNYX A0854/16 NOTAMN

The weather for the airport at the time of the accident showed nothing of concern too.

METAR RKSI 061400Z 36002KT 9000 SCT040 BKN120 20/14 Q1012 NOSIG=
METAR RKSI 061430Z 28003KT 250V320 9000 SCT040 BKN120 20/14 Q1012 NOSIG=