Five injured as Mandala Airlines 737 overshoots runway in Malang, Indonesia

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This Mandala Airlines 737-200 is similar to the one involved.
Image: Lionlmi.

A Mandala Airlines Boeing 737-200 overshot the runway at Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport, East Java, Indonesia after a domestic flight from Jakarta. Five passengers were injured in the incident, none seriously.

The aircraft's nose landing gear is understood to have separated in the incident, in which the aircraft skidded 260 feet from the end of the runway. Five of the 89 passengers and seven crew on board received cuts and bruises during the emergency evacuation that followed. It was raining heavily at the time, although it is not known if this is considered to have played a factor.

Airport official Suradi described the scene to Reuters via telephone: "The plane now lies abandoned on the runway ... Its head is slightly tilted down because the front wheel broke off."

The accident is currently under investigation. One potential cause being looked at is the fact that the forward landing gear axle is believed to have snapped upon landing, setting off the chain of events.

The Indonesian aviation industry has been the subject of much criticism this year over safety concerns, sparked by a string of accidents including Adam Air 574, which crashed into the ocean, killing 102, Adam Air Flight 172, a nonfatal accident where a plane snapped in half, and Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, which overshot a runway at extreme speed, killing 21. All Indonesian airlines are on the list of air carriers banned in the EU, and the United States Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded Indonesia to its lowest safety rating.

Mandala's only fatal accident was the crash of Mandala Airlines Flight 091 in 2005, which killed 112 people.