Engine Failure Likely Cause of Indonesian Military Plane Crash: Official
The Indonesian Air Force announced on Tuesday engine failure was likely the cause of the military plane crash that killed 11 people in East Jakarta last week.
“According to data [from the preliminary investigation], the issue was with the engines. It looks like the left engine malfunctioned,” Air Force chief of staff Marshall Imam Sufaat told journalists after a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta.
The president landed today after his 10-day Latin America tour. Imam reported the results of the ongoing investigation into the cause of the Fokker 27 plane crash to the president.
The plane crashed into several houses at the Rajawali housing complex near Halim Perdanakusuma Airport on June 21 during a regular flying exercise, killing seven Air Force members on board and four civilians on the ground.
“We reported [to the president] the chronology of the incident and the preliminary conclusions on the cause,” Imam said.
Following the incident, Yudhoyono immediately ordered the grounding of five other turboprop Fokker 27 planes and replaced them with twin turboprop CN295s, produced by state aircraft maker Dirgantara Indonesia.
The plane that crashed reportedly rolled into production in 1975 and has been used by the Air Force for the past 36 years.
Imam said even before the incident the Indonesian Military (TNI) had signed an agreement with Dirgantara Indonesia to modernize aging planes, part of the revitalization of TNI’s weaponry and the country’s strategic industry.
“Two units [CN295] are expected to be ready this year. But this will depend on the DPR [the House of Representatives], whether they can quickly approve [the procurement],” he said.