Indonesia 'grounds' Adam Air jets

Safety checks come after aircraft fuselage cracks during hard landing.

    The latest incident led to six aircraft being grounded for safety inspections [EPA]


    Passengers said the jet landed with such force that baggage compartments burst open, sending luggage flying through the cabin.

     

    "The check is a preventive measure. If there's nothing wrong with the planes they can be flown again"

    Hartono,
    Adam Air safety director

    No serious injuries were reported in the accident which caused a temporary closure of the airport and the cancellation of several flights.

     

    The Boeings, almost a third of Adam Air's entire fleet, will remain grounded until they pass a government safety inspection.
     
    "The planes will be checked before they can fly again, so all the 300-series will not fly today," Adam Air's safety director told Reuters from Surabaya.
     
    "The check is a preventive measure. If there's nothing wrong with the planes they can be flown again."
     
    Adam Air said Wednesday's incident was caused by strong wind and heavy rain at the airport which caused the pilot to briefly lose control of the aircraft as it came in to land.
     
    It said the jetliner, made in 1994, had undergone thorough checks before flying.
     

    Bambang Istiono, a Transport Ministry official, said aviation authorities would examine all of Adam Air's 737-300s for airworthiness.

     

    "We are going to check them for the sake of the safety of the country," he said.

     
    The Indonesian government has stepped up safety investigations since the disappearance of the Adam Air jet in January.
     
    The Boeing 737-400 vanished from radar screens in bad weather on New Year's Day as it approached the island of Sulawesi.
     
    Rescuers failed to locate the jet's fuselage although some debris had been found floating in the sea and washed up on the shore.
     
    No bodies have yet been found.
     

    The cause of the crash has not been determined but the incident sparked widespread discussion of Indonesian aviation safety standards and led to the formation of a commission to investigate transport safety.

     

    Adam Air has had a series of incidents since it was founded in 2003 and more than a dozen pilots have quit over safety concerns.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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