February 11, 2021, 05.13 AM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation’s National Committee for Transportation Safety or KNKT has released its preliminary report on the Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 disaster, more than a month after the plane went down off Jakarta on January 9.

In his report, KNKT Sub-Committee Investigations Head for Airline Disasters Captain Nurcahyo Utomo said the Flight Data Recorder [FDR] from the Boeing 737-500 flown by the low-cost carrier showed that it has problems with its engine auto-throttles.

The problem occurred minutes after taking off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 started to show problems at 8,150 feet. At that height, the throttle for the left engine started reversing,” stated Captain Nurcahyo during the press conference for the preliminary report on Wednesday, February 10.

Also read: More Families from Indonesian Victims in Sriwijaya Air Disaster Sues Boeing

“The issues with the throttle reduced thrust from the engine, while the thrust for the right [engine] continued to [function normally]. The problem worsened at 10,600 feet, causing the 737-500 to turn to the left.”

He added that air traffic controllers or ATC at Soekarno-Hatta initially urged the airline to ascend to 11 thousand feet to get out of the path of another airline.

“The ATC urged [Flight SJ182] to go up to [11 thousand feet] before advising them to go further to 13 thousand feet to avoid other airliners, to which the pilot replied [in the affirmative]. This turned out to be the last communication from Flight SJ182,” noted Nurcahyo.

“However, the plane never reached that height, as it started to plummet at 10,900 feet.”

 JUNE 16, 2019 : A Sriwijaya Air B737-500 PK-CLC Citra at Sepinggan Airport.The aircraft make is similar to Sriwijaya Air's downed Flight SJ 182SHUTTERSTOCK/LEONY EKA PRAKASA JUNE 16, 2019 : A Sriwijaya Air B737-500 PK-CLC Citra at Sepinggan Airport.The aircraft make is similar to Sriwijaya Air's downed Flight SJ 182

Also read: Indonesian Investigators Retrieve Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182's Black Box

He pointed out that the FDR indicated that the plane’s autopilot was inactive or disengaged at this altitude before it went down near the Thousand Islands. But Nurcahyo declined to confirm if this caused the disaster until the KNKT finds the plane’s cockpit voice recorder or CVR.

The KNKT continues its search for the CVR despite challenging weather conditions.

The Boeing 737-500 airliner was a 26-year old model that was previously flown by US carriers Continental Airlines and United Airlines, raising questions about the ageing plane’s reliability.

Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 was plying the route from Jakarta to Pontianak, West Kalimantan when it went down near the Thousand Islands.

The plane went down with 62 passengers and crew on board. The airline manifest included a number of small children and babies on board. 

(Writer: Tatang Guritno | Editor : Bayu Galih)




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