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Just Singing in the Plane, He's Singing in the Plane

National Air Safety Committee Publishes Findings Surrounding March 7 Garuda Crash in Yogyakarta.

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The long-awaited official report of the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) detailing the causes of the crash of a Garuda Boeing 737-400 that crashed in Yogyakarta on March 7, 2007, killing 21 and injuring scores of others was published on October 22, 2007.

The report revealed that:

• The aircraft piloted by Captain M Marwoto Komar and co-pilot Gagam Saman Rokhmana was flying a steep final approach at 408 kilometers per hour, 247 kilometers per hour faster than the speed for a standard landing approach.

• That the pilot ignored 15 separate soundings of the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) and calls by the co-pilot to abort the landing and "go round" for another landing attempt.

• That the co-pilot failed to follow official procedure and seize control of the aircraft from the Captain when the Captain repeatedly failed to respond to GPWS alarms.

• Foreign press reports also suggest that the cockpit voice recorder showed that the Pilot was singing in the cockpit as the flight's situation deteriorated in the moments leading up to the fatal crash.

Both the Pilot and Co-Pilot survived the crash and have been grounded by Garuda since the mishap.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has commented to the press in Australia, calling on the Indonesian government to consider a criminal prosecution of the two pilots based on the results of the KNKT report.

The publishing of the accident report has also paved the way for criminal and civil prosecutions against the cockpit crew.

Following the accident, Indonesian civil air operators were the subject intense safety scrutiny by the Indonesian Department of Transportation, a blanket "blacklisting" by the European Union and a downgrading in safety rating from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

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