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Friday, May 11, 2012

Superjet accident south of Jakarta: My notes and comments Part 2

This article is Part 2. Part 1 is here
Last Updated 2012-05-12 0600UTC
Most Recent Update at bottom of article.

The developments surrounding the accident is quite overwheming on Thursday, and to a certain extent, also today. So much has happened and is happening, that it is difficult to know where to start the next update/article.

I have decided to separate subsequent articles on the accident into several categories. I don't know how many will be made, but it is impossible to keep all the developments and my notes, in one place. However this will take time, as I am trying to catch some much needed rest.

Personal Note Edit (2012-05 1830UTC):
Several media (in Indonesia, and outside) have quoted me as a pilot. Let me clarify: I AM NOT A PILOT! And I never claim to the media that I am one. I flew over the Mt. Salak - Mt. Pangrango area 9 years ago for several months as part of a crew of a remote sensing mission on a light aircraft, before we were deployed to another part of the country. I was not flying the aircraft as a pilot, but was part of an operating crew, in charge of the overall mission. That includes making observations and monitoring the flight for safety hazards, and the performance of the mission. The media may have quoted me as a pilot for simplicity reasons to explain what I did. Part of an operating crew, yes. A pilot, No!

Summary since the last update at 10th May 2012 at 0412 UTC:
  • Aircraft has been found. The location appears to show the aircraft had hit a near vertical wall on the mountain.
  • The likelihood of finding any survivors are next to zero, but we are all still hoping for a miracle.
  • Ground rescue crews have now managed to reach the crash site. The photo shows that it is extremely difficult to get there.
  • 12 bodies have been recovered, and are to be transported to the nearest staging post, then airlifted to Halim Air Force base, then to the Police Hospital for victim identification.
  • More developments surrounding the circumstances of the day. Weather information data now suggest that the flight was surrounded by bad weather shortly before the descent and turn. However, this information released by LAPAN, will be further analyzed.
Update 2012-05-11 1630UTC:
SAR crews report 20 bodies have been recovered, for transfer to Halim Airport in the morning.

Update 2012-05-11 2050UTC:
French accident investigators are being sent to Jakarta to assist with the Russian and Indonesian accident investigators. (Need Confirmation)

Update 2012-05-11 2140UTC:
ATC now confirms that the aircraft was cleared to descend to 6000ft. According to ATC, the request was made over the Bogor Training Area, which is clear of terrain, and that the aircraft requested to make a right hand orbit. Bogor training area (WI-R4 Atang Sanjaya Training Area) is 5-12 miles north of Mt. Salak, and terrain is no higher than 3000ft. ATC also confirmed that the crew had been briefed on the training area and reviewed the necessary aeronautical information publication and had signed it off in order to obtain be able to use the area. (source: Kompas.com)

Update 2012-05-12 0340UTC:
Army: Yesterday 12 bags of human remains, not bodies, were received. Recovery operations for today focus on finding more human remains, and the black-boxes. Aircraft parts recovery are done only for aircraft parts which cannot be separated from human remains. Yesterday's recovery operations hampered by weather which closed in by 10am. "Today's condition is much  better", according to Major General Sonny Widjaja Army Siliwangi Division in a field interview by MetroTV. "We want to get as many bags they can fill, to Halim Airport." I agree. The sooner, the better.

Update 2012-05-12 0600UTC:
First bags containing human remains from the Sukhoi Superjet accident has arrived at Halim Airport at around 1200 local time. The remains were transferred to a nearby police hospital to commence the identification process.


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