JAKARTA, Indonesia - An Adam Air flight that went missing over Indonesia with more than 100 passengers onboard probably crashed, a military airport official said Monday.
Rescue teams were searching for the Boeing 737-400 aircraft that sent out a distress signal flying in bad weather between the islands of Java and Sulawesi.
Eddy Suyanto, military airport chief in South Sulawesi, said the type of signal sent by the plane before it went missing indicated "a big chance it had an accident or a crash."
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Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa said a radio communication was picked up over central Sulawesi and emergency crews were on their way to search for survivors.
He said it possibly went down near Mamuju in South Sulawesi province, 470 miles southwest of its intended destination in the northeast of Sulawesi island.
It was unknown if it was over sea or land, but the Navy was contacted about a possible sea rescue operation.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with flight KI-574 while it was flying between Indonesia's Java and Sulawesi islands. It was still missing more than six hours after the scheduled arrival time.
"We can't say what happened yet, we are still coordinating," Adam Air's chief executive Gunawan Suherman told The Associated Press.
The missing plane was carrying six crew members and 96 passengers, including 11 children, Indonesia's El-Shinta radio reported.
The plane left Surabaya in East Java at 1:00 p.m. local time on a two-hour flight to Manado on the northern tip of Sulawesi island, Transport Ministry official Ichsan Tatang told El-Shinta.
It's last contact with flight controllers was at 2:07 p.m. near southern Sulawesi, Tatang said, adding that the plane was only carrying enough fuel for a four-hour flight.
A news conference has been scheduled for 9 p.m., Suherman said.
Adam Air, a privately owned low-cost airline, began operations in Indonesia several years ago and most of its flights are domestic.
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.
The transport minister said at the time he would investigate.
"Those Who Don't Learn From The Past Are Doomed To Repeat It."
Murray, Thanks for posting that.
No problem, I figure you might have been sleeping off a wild new years eve.
"Those Who Don't Learn From The Past Are Doomed To Repeat It."
LOL! No, d and I went out to dinner and had a nice time together, LOL. Pretty tame! Did you have a good one? Happy New Year to you!
There doesn't seem to be any information that I can find, on what might have happened to this jet. A terrible tragedy.
12 survive Indonesia jet crash; 90 Die By ZAKKI HAKIM, Associated Press Writer
5 minutes ago
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Rescuers Tuesday found the smoldering wreckage of an Indonesian jetliner that went missing during a storm. Officials said 90 people were killed, while the remaining 12 aboard survived. The Boeing 737 operated by local carrier Adam Air crashed in a mountainous region of Sulawesi island in the northeast of the sprawling archipelagic nation, said local police Chief Col. Genot Hariyanto.
"The plane is destroyed and many bodies are around there," he said.
Adam Air spokesman Hartono said 90 people were killed and that there were 12 survivors in Monday's crash. Their condition was not known, said Hartono, who goes by a single name.
Rescue workers were at crash site trying to evacuate survivors, officials said.
The plane was on a domestic flight from Java island to Sulawesi when it disappeared late Monday about an hour before it was due to land amid very bad weather. The captain managed to send out two distress signals, said national aviation chief Ichsan Tatang said late Monday.
Hundreds of people gathered at the airport in Manado seeking information about their missing relatives.
Justin Tumurang, 25, was waiting at the airport to pick up her twin sister, but she never arrived.
"Being a twin, we share almost every feeling. I felt something was not right, and it grew worse. Now I feel pain," she said.
The 17-year-old plane carried six crew and 96 passengers, including 11 children. According to the airline, three of those on board were foreign citizens.
The aircraft's last inspection was on Dec. 25 and it had flown 45,371 hours, Tatang said.
Weeks of seasonal rains and high winds in Indonesia have caused several deadly floods, landslides and maritime accidents, including the sinking of a ferry in the Java Sea just before midnight Friday that left at least 400 people dead or missing.
The passenger ship capsized about 650 miles from the area where the Adam Air plane disappeared, and naval ships and helicopters continued Tuesday to scour the choppy tropical waters for ferry survivors.
Adam Air is one of at least a dozen budget airlines that have emerged in Indonesia since 1999, when the industry was deregulated. The rapid expansion has led to cheap flights to scores of destinations around the sprawling nation, but has raised some safety concerns, since many of the airlines are small and lease planes that are decades old.
In September 2005, a Mandala Airlines Boeing 737 crashed after take off on Sumatra island, killing 143 people.
In September 1997, a Garuda Airlines Airbus crashed into a jungle-covered mountain slope in Sumatra, killing all 234 people aboard. Two months later, a Silk Air Boeing 737 jet crashed into a river on Sumatra, killing 104 people.
Adam Air, which began operations in 2003, was founded by Agung Laksono, the speaker of Indonesia's house of representatives and the company's chairman.
Last year, one of the airline's 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.
Three from Oregon family missing in Indonesia plane crash
The Associated Press
PORTLAND "” An Oregon mother awaited word today on the fate of her two daughters and former husband, all three aboard a plane that an Indonesian official said was believed to have crashed into the sea.
Stephanie Jackson, 21, and Lindsey Jackson, 18, both from Bend and students at the University of Oregon, were reported visiting their father, 54-year-old Scott Jackson, a wood-products company executive who lives part time in Indonesia, Brazil and Oregon.
After reports that the plane had crashed in a mountainous area and that a dozen survivors had been found turned out to be erroneous, Indonesians searched by air and sea for the Adam Air jetliner.
"Search efforts have expanded, they're more sophisticated ... but they haven't discovered anything as far as they've told me," said the girls' mother, Felice Jackson DuBois of Bend. "It's still a zero at this point."
The Jackson sisters and their father were believed to be the only Americans aboard the flight operated by Indonesia-based Adam Air.
The plane sent out two distress signals in stormy weather Monday. With 102 people aboard, it was halfway through a two-hour flight from Indonesia's main island Java to Manado, on the northern tip of Sulawesi, one of the largest islands.
The head of Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency said today that based on radar and satellite readings he thought it most likely the plane had gone into the sea.
Stephanie Jackson is a senior majoring in pre-med, and Lindsey Jackson is studying marine biology, Felice DuBois said.
``Any time I hear that they're going on an airplane, yes, I'm scared,'' DuBois told The Oregonian newspaper. ``But you can't live your life guided by your fears. You just want to hold out hope.''
DuBois said her daughters sent her an e-mail that said ``Happy New Year'' shortly before takeoff.
DuBois, who is divorced from Scott Jackson, described her daughters as adventurers who have lived and traveled overseas since they were young.
Scott Jackson is president director of P.T. Fendi Mungil, an Indonesian manufacturing company that makes rattan furniture, said Sheryl Webb, the company's international sales manager.
Initially, officials said 12 people had been found alive at a crash site on Sulawesi's mountainous western coast. But rescue teams found nothing. The government later recanted the reports, saying the earlier statements had been based on the unconfirmed accounts of villagers.
``It's hard to ferret out the rumor from the facts,'' DuBois said. ``All we can do is wait.''
A brother, Greg, 20, was with his sisters on the winter break trip, but returned last week, The Oregonian said. Another brother, Brian, 18 is Lindsey's twin, the Bulletin said.
That's a shame that the families were given false hope. The moment I heard that Tara's plane crashed into the ocean, I knew she was dead. It would have been even worse (if that's even possible), to have thought survival was possible and then heard the information was false.
6 more helicopters to join missing plane searching in Indonesia
The Indonesian government will add six more helicopters to the fleet of aircraft engaged in the search for the Adam Air Boeing 737-400 jetliner which went missing with 102 people on board six days ago on a flight from Surabaya to Manado, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said.
"We are going to work efficiently until we find the missing plane. Therefore, I ask the families of those on the plane not to be dismayed but remain patient," Antara news agency on Sunday quoted Kalla as saying in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province.
The six additional helicopters would be operated on Sunday at three locations, namely, the districts of Polewali Mandar and Mamuju in West Sulawesi and Rantepao in Tanah Toraja district, South Sulawesi, Kala said Saturday evening.
So far, the joint search and rescue teams had been using at least four military planes, a Puma helicopter, a Singaporean Air Force Fokker-50 and a number of navy ships in the search for the ill-fated jetliner which disappeared on January 1, less than three days after a ferry with more than 600 people on board sank in the Java Sea.
The teams were also supported by three warships which had combed the waters off South Sulawesi, West Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi.
Meanwhile, an 8-man U.S. investigating team arrived in Makassar on Saturday to work with the Indonesian transport safety commission to investigate various aspects of the missing plane case, including engineering, operations and weather that might have contributed to the plane's disappearance.
The vice president said the search for the missing Adam Air plane would continue until it was found, no matter how long it would take.
He said the search would not be halted regardless of the cost and even if it would take more than the standard seven days.
Piece of missing jet found in Indonesia By ZAKKI HAKIM, Associated Press Writer
6 minutes ago
MAKASSAR, Indonesia - A fisherman found a piece of a Boeing 737 that disappeared more than 10 days ago, the first hard evidence that the plane carrying 102 people had crashed into the sea off northwestern Indonesia, a top search official said Thursday.
The piece of tail from Adam Air Flight KI-574 was recovered Wednesday in the Makassar Strait, 185 miles off Sulawesi Island's coast, said Eddy Suyanto, the head of search and rescue operations.
Suyanto told reporters the serial number on the yard-long tail stabilizer matched the one given to the search and rescue teams by Boeing.
No survivors or bodies have been recovered, Suyanto said.
"This morning I would like to report the finding of a part of Adam Air," Suyanto said, adding that the piece was discovered by a fisherman late Wednesday and handed over to authorities early Thursday.
"The part is a tail horizontal stabilizer, the right side, with a length of about one meter (yard)."
A U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ship arrived Wednesday in an area 125 miles from where the tail piece was found to determine whether separate metal objects found on the seabed there were also wreckage from the plane. The results of the U.S. investigation have not yet been made public.
An Indonesian vessel located three pieces of debris on the Makassar Strait seabed after local fisherman told authorities they had spotted a low-flying, unstable aircraft in the area but lost sight of it after hearing a loud bang.
The USNS Mary Sears, which has sonar and satellite imagery capabilities, was called in to see if the metal could be the remnants of the plane which fell off radars in the area during 80 mph winds on New Year's day, Suyanto said Wednesday.
The debris was roughly 2 1/2 miles from the West Sulawesi provincial capital of Mamuju at a depth of about 4,500 feet, he said.
Rear Admiral Moekhlas Sidik, commander of the Eastern Indonesia Fleet, said the Mary Sears had confirmed one of the objects was "round-shaped metal," but that more readings were needed to identify it.
The pilot of the Adam Air plane, which left Java island for the North Sulawesi provincial capital of Manado on Jan. 1, twice changed course because of rough weather but did not issue a mayday or report technical difficulties, officials said.
With no emergency location signal to guide more than 3,600 soldiers, police and volunteers searching in the island's dense jungles and surrounding seas, teams have fanned out over a nearly 30,000-square-mile area, almost the size of South Carolina.
A U.S. National Transportation Safety Board team arrived late last week to aid in the search.
After mistakenly claiming last week that the wreckage had been found with 12 survivors, officials were cautious in discussing the discovery of the underwater debris. It could be a sunken ship or something else, Suyanto told reporters.
Three Americans "” a man from Oregon and his two daughters "” were among the plane's 96 passengers. It was not clear if any other foreigners were on board.
Adam Air is one of about 30 budget carriers that sprang up in Indonesia after the industry was deregulated in 1998. The rapid expansion has led to cheap flights throughout Indonesia, but has raised concerns about maintenance.
Wreckage of Indonesian airliner found at sea
By Achmad Sukarsono
Thursday, January 11, 2007; 1:07 AM
MAKASSAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Pieces of a Indonesian airliner with 102 people on board have been found in the ocean off Sulawesi island, officials said on Thursday, after a painstaking 10-day search for the plane from jungles to stormy seas.
Parts including a tail stabilizer and flight attendant seats were confirmed or reported found in the water and on beaches near the town of Pare Pare on the western Sulawesi coast. A woman's body was also recovered in the vicinity.
Relatives expressed relief they finally had firm news on the plane, even if it was not good, after a long wait and an erroneous report that it had crashed in the jungle and some people had survived.
The ill-fated Adam Air Boeing 737-400 was heading from Surabaya in Central Java to Manado in northern Sulawesi when it vanished in bad weather on January 1.
"This morning I announced that there has been a finding of a part of Adam Air. What was found was the right tail's stabilizer number 65C25746-76. This thing was found by a fisherman in Pare Pare," said Eddy Suyanto, who has been coordinating search efforts from an air base in the South Sulawesi capital, Makassar.
"This object has the same number as the Boeing catalog," he told reporters, displaying the slightly scratched white stabilizer found on Wednesday.
Separately, a police official told Reuters the body of a woman, estimated to be in her 30s, had been recovered, although neither her identity nor whether she was a passenger on the Adam Air plane had been confirmed.
"She had short black hair. She wore green attire, long brown trousers. She had typical dark Asian skin," Simon Benteng said by telephone from Pare Pare, about 100 km (60 miles) north of Makassar.
Two flight attendant seats were also found on a beach on Thursday in the same general area, search and rescue official Immal Yuhani told Reuters. Elshinta news radio said fishermen had discovered a life vest wrapper 10 km from the stabilizer's location.
Two truckloads of soldiers were deployed to Pare Pare to help comb the beaches.
Pare Pare is about 150 km (90 miles) south of Mamuju in west Sulawesi, which had been the hunt's main focus since Monday when Indonesian ships detected large metal objects on the sea bed.
In a Makassar hotel where relatives of the Adam Air passengers have been staying, Rosmala Dewi, the mother of a flight attendant on the plane, told reporters:
"I feel a bit relieved if it is true that the search team has found that piece. We have waited so long, and we have received so many confusing reports. We do not know whether to go home or stay here forever."
"I cannot hide the fact relatives feel happy with this news, we have waited anxiously for too long," said Fanny Duran, 46, whose sister, brother-in-law and their child were on the plane.
"As human beings we have lost hope after 10 days but if god wants a miracle to happen it will happen, including the existence of survivors," he told Reuters.
The plane vanished less than three days after a ferry with more than 600 aboard capsized and sank off Java but survivors of that accident were still being found nine days later.
At the site further north where metal objects were detected, a U.S. navy oceanographic ship, the USNS Mary Sears, was helping in the search but had yet to shed light on whether the objects were wreckage.
"Up until now I have not received any reports from Mary Sears," Suyanto said.
(Additional reporting by Mita Valina Liem, Harry Suhartono and Muara Makarim in Jakarta)
Deep water prolongs Adam Air inquiry
INVESTIGATORS trying to determine what caused the crash of an Indonesian jetliner carrying 102 people are examining small pieces of fuselage plucked from the sea or washed ashore.
But with no "black box" recorder or significant pieces of wreckage, more questions than answers remain nearly two weeks after the disaster.
"Nothing can be said about the cause yet," J. Tumenggung, an Indonesian taking part in the probe with a team of experts from the United States, said yesterday.
"The pieces are too small," Tumenggung said. "They aren't telling us anything."
The pilot of the Adam Air plane encountered 130 kph winds and storms that twice forced him to change course on New Year's Day, during what was supposed to be a two-hour hop between islands. But he did not issue a mayday or report technical difficulties before falling off the radar near Sulawesi island's western coast.
A massive land and sea search followed, but no trace of the plane was found until early last week, when a fisherman pulled a section of the Boeing 737's tail from waters 300 meters off shore. Since then, food trays, life vests, pieces of tire and fuselage also have been found, but no bodies or survivors.
Experts said authorities had to find the black box - also know as a flight data recorder - or significant pieces of wreckage such as the engines, cockpit and wings to determine what might have caused the crash.
Ocean depths of more than 1 1/2 kilometers have hampered search efforts.
Jim Hall, a former chairman of the US National Transportation Safety Board, noted that the Boeing 737 is one of the world's most popular planes, so determining the cause is important for aviation safety and commerce.
"This was a structural breakup of the aircraft," he said.
"It's very much like putting a puzzle together, in terms of trying to look at each of the pieces. Everything is carefully examined and there is a process in which things are ruled out before you rule anything in."
Even without the black box, the wreckage has a story to tell - whether it hit the water in one piece or possibly exploded, he said.
Haven't seen anything about this lately?
Experts Say Investigation Into Indonesian Plane Crash Important to Global Aviation SafetyBy ROBIN McDOWELL
Associated Press Writer
Determining what caused an Indonesian jetliner to plunge into the sea with 102 people is important for global aviation safety in case there are structural problems with the world's most popular aircraft, experts said Saturday.
Signals from the Boeing 737's flight recorders, also known as black boxes, have been traced to the ocean floor at a depth of about 1,700 meters (a mile), but the government says it does not have the sea salvage technology needed to recover them.
The Adam Air plane disappeared after running into 130 kilometer (80 mile) per hour winds off Sulawesi island on New Year's Day. The pilot did not issue a mayday or report technical problems before the jetliner fell off radars at 10,000 meters (35,000 feet).
Indonesia has asked for international help recovering the black boxes, but with their battery life of 30 days about to expire, "time is of the essence," said Jim Hall, a former chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
"If you lose the signal, you don't have anything to hone in on," he said. "At that depth there will likely be visibility problems, currents can move sediment over the box and pieces of wreckage ... you may not be able to recover it at all."
"The safety of citizens that fly not just in Indonesia but across the globe depends on finding that black box," Hall added.
Initially, search and rescue teams thought the plane crashed on land and, with no emergency beacon to guide them, deployed thousands of troops across Sulawesi's dense jungles and remote regions, losing valuable time.
A fisherman eventually found a section of the tail in Makassar Strait and more than 200 pieces of debris have since been plucked from the waters. But the main fuselage, engine, cockpit, wings and other parts key to the investigation have yet to be recovered.
"We just don't know," said Ken Johnson, the former executive of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, noting that the crash could be tied to poor maintenance, pilot error, sabotage, weather, structural faults or "a million other reasons."
"It might be very, very simple, but conversely, it could be something extremely important," he said.
Johnson noted that it took a years long US$40 million investigation to determine that a 1998 Swissair crash off Canada's eastern coast was the result of an electrically-sparked fire fed by insulation between the jet's aluminum skin and its cabin.
That led to a major overhaul of the way the planes were manufactured and certification standards, he said, pointing to several other such examples.
"In the unlikely event the Adam Air crash was a problem with the aircraft, it's pretty important to find it and fix the worldwide fleet," Johnson said.
So far, more questions than answers remain.
An Indonesian transportation investigator said the pilot reported strong crosswinds from the left in his last radio transmission, but the control tower said the wind was coming from the right, pointing to possible navigational problems.
The plane, which twice had to change course because of the rough weather, also could have been turned around, Ruth Simpatupang said.
Boeing refused to comment, saying the accident investigation was ongoing. A representative from the Chicago-based company was in Indonesia to offer assistance.
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