SBY Grounds Ageing Fokker 27 Fleet After Indonesian Plane Wreck
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono grounded all turboprop Fokker 27 planes following Thursday’s fatal crash during a training exercise at East Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma airport.
“As the head of the state, [I order the Indonesian military] not to fly any F-27s,” Yudhoyono said. “We plan to [replace] them with [twin turboprop] CN 295s. We will also cooperate with other countries to buy [Hercules] C130s.”
The president said that the order was for the peace of mind of local residents.
He also expressed his condolences to the families of those killed in the accident.
Eleven people were killed when the military plane crashed into the Rajawali housing complex, including all on board and a family of four who was in one of the eight houses destroyed in the tragic wreck.
Yudhoyono said that the plane was suffering from engine problems. The pilot attempted to land the aircraft in a nearby field, but crashed into the housing complex instead, the president explained.
Indonesian Air Force deputy chief of staff, Vice Marshal Dede Rusamsi, on Friday said that the ageing plane last underwent maintenance on June 15, 2012. It was scheduled for another check up on July 14.
“The maintenance data shows the airplane was in good condition to fly,” he said. “The Air Force is investigating [the cause of the accident]. We hope to finish in three months.”
The plane reportedly rolled into production in 1975 and has been used by the Indonesian Military for the past 36 years.