Adam Air Crash

Jan 18th, 2007, in News, by

The possible causes of the Adam Air crash.

Adam Air flight KI 574, in which 96 passengers and six crew were travelling from Surabaya, East Java to Manado, North Sulawesi on January 1st 2007, crashed somewhere off the coast of western Sulawesi. Three possible scenarios have been suggested for the disaster:

  • explosion, whether deliberate (like a bomb) or accidental (like fuel catching fire)
  • structure failure (like something falling off)
  • weather penetration (like extreme winds)

No evidence has been found that suggests an explosion occurred, the fragments of the plane discovered so far indicate no burn damage.

There remains the other two scenarios which could be combined into one, that is extreme weather conditions caused structural damage, or either could have occurred separately, says Frans Wenas of the Komite Nasional Keselamatan Transportasi, KNKT, National Transportation Safety Committee.

Planes have to fly level, or flat, and strong winds could have pushed flight 574 into an abnormal position, which may have resulted in structural damage causing the plane to dip and crash into the sea. Or even without bad weather some part of the plane could have fallen off, again pushing the craft into an unusual position. detik

71 Comments on “Adam Air Crash”

  1. Rockstar says:

    Please keep me (us?) updated about the news.
    I read from Detik that there was a skull found and it’s being investigated.
    I hope and pray there are survivors and may God strengthen the family.

  2. Dimp says:

    I hope that the Government will actually take this matter seriously, and will prosecute any wrongdoings done by any parties involved.

    But judging from the track of our prosecutions somehow I doubt that this will ever happen.

  3. 1ndra says:

    Is it exploded or not?

  4. Meg Gutierrez says:

    I understand that there were some Americans on board. Please let me know if the list of passengers has been released.

  5. leanne says:

    Why? Why it takes too long to find it?

  6. 1ndra says:

    The plane might be trapped in ocean mud.

    Well, then how we’ll take it up?

  7. Capano Susaswantro says:

    Sad Thing that has happened!

    The aviation authority in Indonesia should seriously consider implementing strict monitoring system of the maintenance of the various domestic airlines that has sprung up over the years.

    It will well bog down to cost but the safety of the passengers and the valuable warganegara of the country should be well worth the effort & the cost incur for avoiding such tragedy. Especially now that Indonesia is trying to attract foreign investment in its infrastructure. The tourism trade in the long run will be adversely affected because of some party oiling their own path and forsaking the safety other fellow human being.

    Up till now, except for travellers that has been getting in & out of Indonesia, all impressions has been pointing to the fact that Indonesia is not a civilised country. This is a sad fact but definitely true, i am so sick of answering and defending the country that i love so much and trying to convince everybody that Indonesia is indeed very civilised and its cultural diversity is worth the time & money to visit.

    But if the domestic air travel industry do not pick up and learn from this and let all this unscrupulous businessman owners carry on with their activities, the economy might just collapse once again.

  8. Sambo says:

    Shows a profound and learned analysis of the post crash situation. I am particularly concerned with the ocean mud and implementing strict monitoring system of the maintenance of the various domestic airlines that has sprung up over the years

  9. Dimp says:

    Hi Sambo,

    Again what we need is a strict law that is applied to anyone, and can actually punish the rich and powerful. When one of the Adam Air aircraft was to be audited when it landed several hundred miles off-course, it actually was repaired before the auditors arrived and furthermore it took off without the consent of the auditors. Why was this ever allowed? The scapegoat in this case was the pilot if I remember correctly.

    Just because these “companies” are backed by the “high-and-mighty” do not mean that they are above the law.

    I have a strong feeling that this mess will be just swept under the rug….. again.

  10. Bin Camel says:

    My condolence, by the way who will responsible, this accident is not the act of God, I read most Adam Air planes are old junkies and not well maintained.

  11. Bas says:

    You forgot the human error. Indonesian pilots are not know as the best of the world if you see what I mean.

    Remind me of the only prooven case of crash caused by a pilot suicide. Of course the plane was flighing from Jakarta.

    Tips of the day: when you are a pilot, don’t fall in love with an Indonesian girl.

    haha such a great and clean country.

  12. 1ndra says:

    Well, I do know the pilot training course, but it should be hard.

  13. Bakekang says:

    I was a passenger of AdamAir, Boeing 537 last Dec 29, Friday. The flight was scheduled at 2.30 pm departure, however, due to technical problems, it was announced that it will be delayed (as usual) 3 hours later, the “technical problem” wasn’t fixed, instead a new plane took over.

    I’ve been flying with local and international planes for 4 years, but that one was the nightmare ride I ever had in my life. It was like riding a roller coaster, the plane stopped in the air and suddenly will plunge a few meters down, very sudden, very rough, lights were turning off and on, could this be a sequel of the “final destination Movie”? When I looked at the backseat pocket in front of me, all rubbish are still stucked there, proof that it was not checked (nor cleaned) before the next passengers come.

    After over an hour, we arrived at the jakarta airport, that was only the time I was able to breath deeply, the most glorious relief of my life.

    Jan 1, Monday, I heard of the plane crash, I was not suprised. I know, somehow, somewhere it may happen. I am just grateful that it didnt occur last Friday. My deep sympathy to the families of the passengers. Only God knows where they are now.

  14. Hassan says:

    Bas: I thought the Silk Air crash in Palembang several years ago where the plane plummeted into a river was also caused by a suicidal pilot. And as I recalled the pilot was a Singaporean.

  15. 1ndra says:

    Not counting the suicidal ‘black hawk down’ pilots. 🙂

  16. sgn says:

    Hassan Says:

    January 21st, 2007 at 7:18 pm
    Bas: I thought the Silk Air crash in Palembang several years ago where the plane plummeted into a river was also caused by a suicidal pilot. And as I recalled the pilot was a Singaporean.

    … and I recalled it was the first time Indonesian goverment allowed a Jews ritual conducted in Indonesian.

  17. Philly Mcfadden says:

    You are wrong, suicidal pilot was not the caused of the crash of SilkAir flight number MI185 on December 19, 1997 at all. It was only a rumor.

    You are completely right, there was a Jewish Rabbi on the Memorial Service in Palembang. It was so awesome!!!

  18. Bin Camel says:

    Philly, amazing to know a Jew rabbi came and prayed for Muslims, I thought only Christian pray for their enemies, what a wonderful power of love.

  19. John says:

    The information coming through the press about what has been found and what has been heard or collected in data makes for an interesting “missing aircraft” scenario.

    Take the GPS Coordinates detected by the satellite. This put the aircraft over land. I am surprised they don’t have more than one reading to suggest which way it was flying.

    If it was still tracking north-east, it doesn’t explain the finding of wreckage in the waters to the southwest of Salawesi; unless of course the aircraft was uncontrollable and turned back or was it because the tail broke up.

    Where did the aircraft go? Did it track over Salawesi uncontrollably and find its way to the north of the island? Perhaps it is in the forest up there.

    Where was the aircraft wheel imprint on the beach? Does it suggest, when taken into account with fishermen reports that the aircraft has in fact found itself in a location close to shore, but largely intact. Perhaps a low tide one day will reveal all.

    What caused this to happen? Was this another rudder control failure. Was it that and a consequential elevator failure, perhaps a twisting of the rear end of the fuselage causing the aircraft to break up at the rear pressure bulk head? Could corrosion have contributed to the failure is that was the sequence?

    Perhaps, in trying to control the aircraft, a failure in the rudder travel limiter allowed the crew to stress the rudder and vertical fin at high speed and when trying to pull out of the ensuing dive they stressed the elevators.

    I think it’s not appropriate for anyone to give up on searching for this aircraft, but a bit of lateral thinking to work out where it might be and a better evaluation of data may yield the result everyone is hoping for.

    Then finally, what will we learn from this accident? Perhaps it is that, Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous but like the sea, is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.

  20. Sambo says:

    I’m sure it was the Martians – stands to reason.

  21. 1ndra says:

    Almost be happy because the founded black box, only to discover that was a food box, what a day.

    Hope the plane position isn’t moved because of the earthquake.

  22. Hassan says:

    Billy Mcfadden: “You are wrong, suicidal pilot was not the caused of the crash of SilkAir flight number MI185 on December 19, 1997 at all. It was only a rumor.”

    I read on Kompas some times ago that the NTSB suggested to the local Search and Rescue authorities that there was nothing technically wrong with flight MI185, and suicide could be the motive. Certainly enough, the Indonesian authorities denied the possibility of such incident.

    Well, who knows what really happened?

  23. suyinhtoon says:

    I pray to God to show His guidience on the families of the victums of the crash. It reminds me of the Korean plane lost in Indian Ocean in Nov 1987.

  24. John says:

    The Boeing 737 has two “black boxes” which include the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and the Voice Recorder. They are actually coloured orange and have reflective bands on them. They are a bit larger than a shoe box and each has an underwater locator beacon on the front of them which is activated when the locator is immersed in water. The output from the locators is an accoustic click which can be picked up by sonar. So ordinarily, with two recorders, you should be able to pick up two sequences of clicks, with each click about a second apart from each locator. When wreckage is widely scattered, clicks may be detected several kilometres apart. This is why, in the case of the Adam Air crash, because of the time remaining, it is paramount that the main wreckage is located in case a further search needs to be done to find the second recorder.

    The DFDR on the 737-400 is commonly mounted in the ceiling between the aft entry doors whilst the voice recorder is usually in the aft cargo compartment on the right side just aft of the cargo loading door.

    These boxes operate on 115V 400 Cycle AC power and will stop recording with loss of AC power such as when the engines stop in flight.

  25. Wisdom Whisper says:


    It’s clear you are a well-educated aviator. Your information and analyses are mostly useful. But let’s face it. The Indonesian government is CORRUPT from head to toe. The first thing they do in an accident is go to the airline and say, ‘OK buddy, how much will you pay me to shut up’.

    Of course the airline has violated many maintenance and procedural issues which the government is aware of. That makes the airline have no choice but 2 pay up. So they pay. Next, the government delivers on its ‘promise’ to the airline to cover-up. This is just like how the Indonesian police handles many cases in Indonesia. Many things point out to the attempts to hide the truth. Then you have the dumb press both Indonesian and also International who continue to ask stupid questions instead of intelligent ones. So, what’s the solution? Ask the government these questions:

    1. The aircraft was lost and it took you guys days to know that? HELLOOOOO! Don’t answer by saying “Oh, we knew, but we didn’t want to cause anxiety to the public!” Explain that.

    2. After Singapore reported the coordinates of the downed aircraft, suddenly the Indonesian government had their own coordinates (about 2 days later) which was completely different. Explain that.

    3. This was followed by the Indo government claiming they are going to search in their declared coordinates. Sounds like a great way to mislead the search party buddy. Explain that.

    4. Then, the Indo government claimed the airplane was found on land – 90 dead and 12 survivors and they were getting to the location. FALSE ALERT? Oh my, you take the Indonesian public and the international community as Idiots? Was this not an attempt to buy time and ensure that the Locator Signals would die out and also allow the government and the airline time to sweep the filthy mess it left behind?

    5. Rumors started some of which were such a waste of time. No Indonesian government rep tried to explain the non-plausibility of such causes. Maybe these stupid rumors was started by the government again? E.g. ‘Oh, I heard it was caused by 70 knots crosswinds as declared by the pilot on the radio’. Come on, you think we are all idiots? Any aviator can verify, such high winds are common at high altitudes and pilots fly in these conditions frequently with no sacrifice to safety. So, explain your silence, to such lies.

    6. Only after many days of so-called full fledged efforts did the government declare that they needed help to locate it. Was it an ego problem that it took so long or a systematic effort to destroy evidence, to get time to cook up blatant lies & make it almost impossible to find the lost airplane? Come on Indonesian DGAC, you are at fault and you know it. Stop lying! These are lives of families that you are dealing with!

    7. Finally, now after the US naval ship has found the geographic location of the boxes, one of the Indonesian government department’s spokesman says: ‘We are not responsible to get to the FDR and CVR’. Oh yeah, we are not interested in that. Who is? Do it! That’s the government’s job. That’s why the airlines and the people pay you with all kinds of official AND UNOFFICIAL fees. To do your job. Get the CVR and FDR whatever it takes. Make it transparent. Invite IFALPA, FAA and Boeing officials all the way as witnesses and answer to the families of those who lost their loved ones.

    8. Anyone who dares to tell the truth in Indonesia and who has been through the system knows this and would say all this. I hope those who read this realize that it is time for us to change and help change the mentality of these people who are basically the worst of criminals. May such people have their lives be haunted by the spirits of those lives lost in aviation in Indonesia.
    This is NOT a curse. It is an invitation to change. Human lives have been lost. They deserve the TRUTH – not manipulations and continued corruption.

    1. No pilot would deliberately cause mortal danger to himself and his passengers.
    They are the easiest to victimize for blame in case of accidents. Fact is, whoever makes the mistake in a fatal accident, the pilot dies too. Mechanics don’t, the management doesn’t (in fact they may make money from accidents and violations of safety standards), Air Traffic Controllers don’t, government certification and monitoring authorities don’t.

    2. Regarding the aviation authorities, the Indonesian government has never said: We were wrong! It’s our fault and we need to change!

    3. Certification processes for airlines, aircraft, pilots, mechanics, etc. are still controlled by the Indonesian government’s corrupted officials. This does not guarantee standards or compliance. The officials wait for accidents. That’s the time they make big money!

    TO the Indonesian Government and the Airline Management:

  26. Ali says:

    Although probably not the best and the most updated in the world, I believe most of the checks and balances regulating commercial aviation in Indonesia exist. As many have pointed out, what’s lacking is the most crucial factor: human factor.

    Discipline, integrity, conscience, honesty, and accountability need a big boost in Indonesia.

  27. John says:

    In many ways Wisdom Whisper it is disturbing to see how these matters are being handled and Ali I think there is merit in what you say too, particularly accountability.

    Everybody has a stake in finding out what happened to this aircraft.

    Relatives and friends clearly want closure.

    Lawyers seeking compensation for relatives want somebody to be accountable.

    The aircraft industry needs to know because lives can depend on it.

    The insurance industry needs to know to protect its exposure to risk.

    Adam Air needs to know to establish its accountability for the safety of the aircraft an its occupants. If it has been remiss, it needs to know.

    The DGAC needs to know to establish how this plane got into this mess in the first place.

    The aircraft must be retrieved regardless of the cost.

    My gut feeling is that the passengers will still be in their seats down there. Imagine that.

  28. 1ndra says:

    The coordinates are moving too, because the deep sea stream.

  29. Dimp says:

    I think the Indonesian govermnent need to consider auditing the whole fleet of all domestic low-cost carriers. But judging from the lack of real intention from the authority to reveal the thruth to the public, I don’t think this will ever happens in Indonesia.

  30. Andrew says:

    Dimp, I agree with you, but the audit should be done by some independent organization, otherwise it would just be a “basa-basi” audit. 😀

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