‘Pilot Error’ Caused SSJ Indonesia Crash

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Indonesia agree that pilot error was to blame for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) crash that killed all 45 people on board when the plane slammed into the face of a West Java volcano in May, a senior Russian government official said on Tuesday.

“We have no disagreements,” Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Yury Slyusar said at a news conference hosted by RIA Novosti, referring to a report on the crash released by Indonesia’s National Committee for Transportation Safety (KNKT).

Another factor in the crash was the limited capability of the radars at the Indonesian airport, he added.

“The radars did not have a Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW) system,” he said.

KNKT chief Tatang Kurniadi said there were no technical problems with the plane. He said the Russian crew’s lack of familiarity with the mountains in the area and the lack of a minimum safe altitude warning system resulted in the crash into Mount Salak on May 9, Jakarta Globe reported.

The pilot allegedly failed to react to six warnings from the plane’s terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS), which alerts the crew to potential terrain dangers.

“The plane crew was not aware of the mountainous terrain on the flight path due to several factors. This meant they neglected the warning signals of the plane’s Terrain Awareness Warning System [TAWS],” Tatang said, adding that a potential buyer present in the cockpit at the time may have distracted the pilot.

The pilot failed to comply with minimum altitudes approved in instrument flight rules (IFR) for the flight and with minimum safe altitude (MSA) for air traffic control at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta, the place where the Superjet took off.

Investigators said the minimum off-route altitudes approved in IFR was 13,200 feet, but the plane was flying at 10,000 feet.

The SSJ100 crashed during a demonstration flight with 37 passengers, including local airline executives, and eight Russian crew members on board.


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