Garuda Indonesia Airways Boeing 737-497 plane crash
The Garuda airlines Boeing 737-400 was on a passenger flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, to the Java island’s city of
Yogyakarta, Indonesia, with 140 passengers and crew members onboard. It overshot the runway of Yogyakarta airport and
caught fire killing 23 people and injuring at least 90.
The Indonesian Boeing 737-400 started shaking violently before landing at the Yogyakarta international airport, landed intact but then overshot the runway, hitting fences and stopping in a rice field. Some survivors said the fire began at the front the plane before engulfing the aircraft. Many occupants managed to escape the blazing plane.
The aircraft landing speed may have been a factor in the crash. The plane landed intact but was not able to stop before the end of the 7215-feet runway that may point to excess speed being a factor. Failure or malfunction of the aircraft braking systems could also be a cause of the accident: the failure of one of the three braking system (wheel brake, spoilers or thrust reversers) significantly increases the landing distance. The plane could also have touch down too far from the runway threshold, hence reducing the landing distance available.
The pilot says he felt a very powerful downdraft just before landing. Such wind shears have been blamed in other accidents involving commercial jetliners: the aircraft become slightly unstable and may start to shudder or shake. The plane may finally be pushed to the ground very rapidly. A standard way to restore control of the plane is to speed up and pitch up. During the landing phase, it must end up in a safe go-around. If the go-around is not performed, the plane could land too fast.
The main front left exit of the plane was damaged during the accident and failed to open, preventing some passengers in business class from escaping. Most of the 110 survivors were in economy class and escaped through the back left door. Other passengers, including those sitting at the front of the plane, used the left overwing exits.
The fire may have been caused by the nose wheel hitting things as it ran off the runway or engine destruction. It is probable that a fuel tank was punctured on impact. Around two hours after the accident firefighters extinguished the blaze, which had gutted the plane.