Thursday, March 08, 2007

Everyone in Indonesia has an airline story

How very true.

Today on the
Indonesia Blogsite a frequently flying Jakarta-based expat writes:
Following the Garuda air crash, there will no doubt be lots of newspapers publishing air disaster statistics, but they will not cover the near misses and the shambolic state of the Indonesian air industry as a whole, writes a Jakarta-based expat.

My comment on this is that as a one-time frequent flyer in Indonesia I know most passengers consider Garuda the airline of choice. Merpati Airlines for instance, is considered a far more precarious ride.
I have one experience to share: Several years ago flying aboard a Merpati Hawker Cassa from the tiny Banda Islands to Ambon. All was fine on the one hour flight until we hit the tarmac at Ambon's Patimura Airport. Suddenly the wheels jammed and the aircraft skidded off the tarmac into the grass. It was a wild, bumpy ride which ended with the plane on its side and the right wing wedged deep into the ground. We the passengers had to squeeze out through the door which was now like an overhead hatch in a boat.

We emerged into the Ambon sunshine with the smell of fuel all around us and the sound of emergency fire engines rushing across the airfield towards our plane.

Clock one up to good fortune! MB

Related: How Indonesia became aviation's Wild West

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