National

RI may be in breach of
ICAO regulation over "Adam
Air" recording

A digital recording of what could be the last moments of the Jan. 1 Adam Air crash currently in public circulation could be in breach of an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulation if it is found to be genuine.

On the recording, which has been publicly distributed through chain e-mails, loud rattling sounds can be heard along with two background voices screaming in terror, and shouting out the name of God, followed by an abrupt silence.

A Boeing 737-400 aircraft of the now defunct Adam Air in the early morning of Jan. 1 disappeared off radar while cruising at 35,000 feet several hours into its flight from Djuanda airport in Surabaya to Manado in North Sulawesi.

After a nine-day land, sea and air search operation, the wreckage was located in the water and on the coast near Pare-Pare. None of the bodies of the 102 people on board have been found.

The recording reached the media Saturday and prompted public concern over a possible breach of security by the Air Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), which is required to keep
the recording classified under an ICAO regulation.

Transportation Minister Jusman Syafi'i Djamal said Saturday the recording was a fake, and that the original, recorded by the aircraft's flight data recorder, was in the possession of the KNKT.

"The one that is out in the public is not the real one, not original," Jusman said.

Speaking to Elshinta radio later that night, Transportation Ministry spokesperson Bambang S. Ervan said the ministry would further study the digital recording.

"The minister has asked the KNKT to investigate and to also check for a possible breach of security," Bambang said, adding that the public must refrain from jumping to conclusions on the
accident from the recording.

The KNKT announced on March 25 the results of their investigation into the air crash, saying the accident had been caused by a combination of navigational equipment and pilot errors.

By studying maintenance records, KNKT investigators found that between October and December 2006 there had been 154 recurring defects directly and indirectly related to the Boeing 737-400 aircraft's inertial reference system.

The report stated that the pilots had become preoccupied with the malfunction of the inertial reference system, and had not paid attention to their instruments, allowing the aircraft to bank left and descend.

All Indonesian airlines were banned in July last year by the European Commission (EC) from entering the 27-country union following a series of fatal accidents.

Various attempts by the government and local airlines to overturn the ban have failed.

EC vice president for transportation Antonio Tajani said in a statement published July 25 that the biggest concern reported in the documentary evidence was the poor safety surveillance
conducted by the airline authorities.

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