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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

'low-cost flight' mean 'low-maintenance airplane' ?

The first day of 2007 in Indonesia ... first the ferry and now it's Adam Air?

UPDATES: It's confirmed an air-crash, casualties unknown at this point in time. Adam Air released the passenger manifest at 01:48hr local time and does not carry any Malaysian-sounding names. The Boeing 737-400 Adam Air jet that crashed in a mountainous region of Sulawesi island in the northeast of the country has still not been found.

Some bad track records, narrated by professional pilots, that frequent air commuter should take note of.

1 ) Last year, one of its jetliners lost all communication and navigation systems for four hours during a flight between the Indonesian capital Jakarta and Makassar on Sulawesi Island, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.

2 ) Another had to resort to raw muscle power as Fatmawati Tower (Bengkulu airport) has no pushback truck to assist an Adam Air that has lost its HYD Air-pressure, resulting in no nosewheel steering (see chronicle and pictures in Airliners.net).

Vigilantes monitoring Indonesia's civil aviation reflects that Adam Air's crisis management over today's Flight DHI (KI) 574 (Surabaya-Manado) is plain shocking. According to PK-KAR on Pprune.net:
Relatives in Manado were told flight was cancelled and gave no further details, so they went home. Relatives in Surabaya went to the airport to check what they saw in the news, and they were told it was delayed, and went home.
IF YOU FLY INDONESIA FREQUENTLY... Here's the history of the ill-fated Adam Air aircraft:

Delivery Date | Operator | Registration | Remarks
26/01/1989 Dan-Air London G-BNNL lsd ILFC0
7/11/1992 British Airways G-BNNL
19/03/1995 GB Airways G-BNNL lsd ILFC
06/04/2001 National Jets Italy G-BNNL
26/02/2002 WFBN N112TR
04/03/2002 Air One EI-CXH
11/12/2002 JAT YU-AOO ret to ILFC 10/2005
01/12/2005 AdamAir PK-KKW

Here's a rating by pilots, take note if you are flying domestic in Indonesia frequently:
- Safe: Garuda, Merpati (Jet), Sriwijaya, Express, Batavia (A319 only)
- Safe-ish: Mandala, Indonesia Air Asia, Kartika
- Mild Risk: Merpati (prop), Batavia (A319 excluded), Lion Air (MD90 and 734)
- Big Risk: Adam Air, Wings Air, Lion Air (non 734)


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“ Better to be a Pirate than to join the Navy ”

Steve Jobs - Referring to the pirate flag that flew over Apple’s headquaters in 1983. I believe that quote was one of three keyphrases for a large Apple meeting/conference, and the Pirate flag was attached to the Macintosh building after that meeting. So the flag was actually a reaction to that.