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Pandora's Box is Black

Indonesia's Transportation Manager Wants Flight Black Box Information Barred from Use in Criminal Courts.

(5/11/2009) Indonesia's Minister of Transportation, Jusman Syafii Djamal, has joined the debate set off by a strike threat by Indonesian pilots unhappy with the use of cockpit voice recorders (CVR) and flight data recorders (FDR) in the recent manslaughter conviction of a Garuda pilot.

As reported in Bisnis Indonesia, Jusman sees the use of CVRs and FDRs as violating Indonesia's Aviation Law of 2009 and Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) governing the investigation of air accidents.

The Transportation Minister made his comments in connection with the use of the "black box" of the Garuda B-737 in the recent conviction of Captain Marwoto Komar. Captain Marwoto was in the left-hand seat of GA 200 that crashed when landing in Yogyakarta on March 7, 2007, killing 21 people.

According to Jusman, the contents of the CVR, FDR and all the findings of the National Safety Board Team (KNKT) are not admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding. Because of this, the Minister hopes Marwoto's conviction will be overturned and that the pilot's lawyers will work hard to compel the judges to honor Indonesia's commitment as a member of ICAO.

The Minister told the press that pilots should be brought before a professional board of review for any technical shortcomings. If the KNKT uncovers evidence of criminal negligence, only then should that information be forwarded to police and state prosecutors.

Related Article

[Indonesia Pilots Threatening Strike Action].