I stumbled over this article by accident, and was gobbed smack reading it. If this is true I don’t know what to say let alone thinking of the people who had lost their loved ones in this plane crash.
What did he think at that time and what was his purpose? Was he one of those mujahidin clan who believes that western people are dominating and interfering the world, so that they should not live? Though there were Indonesians in the plane. Or was it just misjudgement and he did make mistake by jeopardising hundreds of passengers life? Whatever his reasons and excuses I do hope that Indonesian government will follow the law and justice will be made.
Garuda pilot charged with causing crash
A Garuda pilot has been formally charged with deliberately causing a passenger plane to crash in Indonesia, killing 21 people including five Australians.
Captain Marwoto Komar, 46, was charged on Thursday at the opening of his trial at Yogyakarta in central Java, where the 21 victims lost their lives on March 7 last year.
Komar fronted the Slemen District Court in his pilot’s uniform, despite resigning from Garuda after the airline gave him an ultimatum following the crash.
A copy of an indictment to be read to the court on Thursday says Komar ignored 15 alarms to abort the landing of the Boeing 737 at Yogyakarta’s Adi Sucipto Airport.
It says co-pilot Gagam Samam Rohmana had calculated the plane should land at a speed of 140 knots, but when the aircraft hit the runway it was going at 240 knots.
Komar also ignored the pleas of Rohmana not to proceed with the landing, it says.
“The defendant deliberately forced the landing by putting the nose of the Garuda Boeing 737 … steeply down, so that the ground proximity warning system gave the signal ‘whoop whoop, pull up’,” the indictment says.
“The (co-pilot) looked or stared to the left at the defendant but the defendant didn’t try to lift up the plane or cancel the landing, or go around.
“The defendant didn’t try to pull the control column or the plane’s steering mechanism … the defendant only wanted to reach the runway by making the plane dive extremely.”
The ground proximity warning system sounded 15 times as the plane came in “but the defendant was still ignoring it”, it says.
“When the defendant landed … the plane speed was still 221 knots.”
The plane bounced along the runway three times, snapping its front wheel.
It then careered off the end of the runway, across a street and hit a wall before erupting in flames, the indictment says.
Among the 21 killed were Australian diplomat Liz O’Neill, AusAID official Allison Sudradjat, Australian Federal Police Officers Brice Steele and Mark Scott, and Australian Financial Review journalist Morgan Mellish.
The five were travelling to Yogyakarta for an official visit by then foreign minister Alexander Downer.
Some 31 other passengers were injured.
Komar faces three alternative sets of charges.
The most serious is that he deliberately and unlawfully caused an accident or destroyed a plane causing death. If convicted he face life in jail.
He is believed to be the first pilot to face criminal charges over a plane crash in Indonesia, which has a poor safety history.
As he arrived at court on Thursday, Komar said he was ready to face trial.
“I’m ready. I thank God I’m healthy,” he said.
His lawyer Mohammad Assegaf said Komar had already paid a heavy price for the crash, including the loss of his pilot’s licence and job.
“As a man who lost his job and had his licence frozen, for a pilot that is already the same as being killed,” he told journalists.
“Freezing his licence – it’s already a very harsh punishment for a pilot.”
Garuda is helping fund Komar’s defence, Assegaf said.
Five judges will hear the case, which is expected to run for several months.