View Full Version : Jet lost for hours over Java after navigation system failed

12th Feb 2006, 14:09

I know this report is only from a journo but it does look very serious. How could the 73 get so lost?

12th Feb 2006, 17:01
In a discussion at http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/2601978/ it was suggested that the captain wanted an aircraft change due to a faulty IRU but was overruled. One of the posters has an airway map, and another said a Lion Air flight was in communication with the "lost" flight...

12th Feb 2006, 23:39
Do they have radar in that area of Indo or other navigational aids to assist?

Also was it lost for 4 hours or ended up lost for 400nm?

Global Pilot
13th Feb 2006, 00:06
makes for a good argument to carry a handheld GPS and Transciever in your navbag when operating in remote parts. You might spend a whole career never having to resort using them but I never travel without them.

13th Feb 2006, 02:04
a handheld GPS and Transciever

Specifically forbidden in our flight ops manual. But a good idea nonetheless....

13th Feb 2006, 06:14
a handheld GPS and Transciever

Specifically forbidden in our flight ops manual. But a good idea nonetheless...."

Why would the company forbid a handheld GPS? What is the thought process behind the ban?:confused:

Anyhow; I am reasonably certain that if you were to get on the PA and ask: " Anyone got a GPS and "Streets and Trips" or "Garmin Mapsource" in their laptop? You'll get a good show of hands!:ok:

13th Feb 2006, 09:36
Am sure that the passengers would love to know that the aircraft is a little lost, hands up which pilots would do that.

13th Feb 2006, 09:51
Why is a hand held GPS banned?

The Nr Fairy
13th Feb 2006, 09:52
It may not add to the debate, but perhaps they're banned because they interfere with the navigation systems ? :=

13th Feb 2006, 11:05
Anyone else noticed how many pointless, thoughtless rules are dreamt up by incometeant half-wits who sit at desks trying desperately to justify their pointless existence ?

"Forbidden to carry hand-held GPS' " Why ???? :(

Because it might interfere with the Nav equipment....well it can hardlyinterfere if it's switched off and if it's switched on it's probably because the precious nav equipment has failed...

Standby Scum
13th Feb 2006, 11:20
It appears that a hand-held GPS doesn't receive signals through the flight deck window's heating elements. A passenger window's OK although it's rare that there are 4 satellites in the small cone of reception. :suspect:

13th Feb 2006, 11:36
Carnt get mine to work on the flight deck of a B757. Been told its the heated windows.

AN2 Driver
13th Feb 2006, 11:59
Carnt get mine to work on the flight deck of a B757. Been told its the heated windows.

My trusty old GPS100 (the very first Garmin/Pronav) worked just fine out of our good old Caravelle, mounted with velcro on the dashboard and later installed just below the overhead.

I had a Pilot 3 with me once on a jump seat ride, it would not work through the windshield but worked just fine when held next to one of the rear side windows. Might be a tad uncomfortable but a sight better than landing in the middle of nowhere. And no, we did not experience any problems with nav equipment whatsoever (A330-200). Also, they definitly work through the pax windows, but it might be a tad embarrassing... :}

Portable coms however have not much of a chance out of an airliner cockpit. We tried...

Best regards
AN2 driver.

13th Feb 2006, 12:05
737 Classic, rear side of windows L3/R3, NG not so good.

13th Feb 2006, 12:55
You need the extended antennas with suction mounts - stick it on the rear windows of flightdeck, worked on a 767 with a garmin GPS 3 pilot.

13th Feb 2006, 13:04
Am sure that the passengers would love to know that the aircraft is a little lost, hands up which pilots would do that.

If I was surrounded by lostness with no Nav and no Comms for an hour or two I would ask - perhaps not over the PA or "dress up the request" somehow.

13th Feb 2006, 16:03

"Erm, ladies and gentlmen this is the Captain. I have a special prize to give away to the first clever passenger who can me exactly where we are!"


13th Feb 2006, 17:55
Was this at night? If it was daylight, then I'm puzzled. If you know you're over Java (and you'd have to be very very lost to not know at least that much*) just head straight north and pretty soon you'll reach the coast (Java is long and skinny). Then turn left, and pretty soon you'll either reach Jakarta or run out of island (there's very little of Java that's west of Jakarta), in which case a 180 will take you to Jakarta. Even at night this should be doable, as coastlines should show up pretty well. The ony way it wouldn't work is in case of complete overcast; there's some pretty tall mountains around, so you probably don't want to let down blind if you don't know where you are.
*: if you're sufficiently lost that you could conceivably be over Sumatra (not very far from Java), the same trick still works -- Sumatra is oriented NW-SE, so the coastline has an entirely different orientation, and if you start near the south coast, it could take you very long to reach the north coast; either way a compass and watch should be enough to establish pretty quickly whether you're over Sumatra or Java.

13th Feb 2006, 18:50
Well, when I were a lad we would have just whipped out our trusted sextant, shot a three position line fix, et voila.

But seriously, what's wrong with just flying the plan?

13th Feb 2006, 19:41
As regards to GPS antenna, a version can be bought which still receives signals through heating elements in A/C windshield. They have been around for years and I believe they have a "boost" current from the portable GPS it self.

I started using a portable GPS in A/C pre 1990 and before they were "banned." Yes it did interfere with the nav equipment in a way, as it was far far Superior than Omega or INS (litton 52's) The portable GPS was and still is mandatory standby equipment for me, pre and post ban.

As for the crew apparently getting lost due total nav failure. What about the standby compass?? That is just about the only instrument in the A/C that can be rely ed upon to give correct readings when all else fails. What would have been wrong with steering flight plan headings, as was pointed out in an earlier post, or is it the case that going back to basics are not taught anymore.

14th Feb 2006, 02:53
Standby Magnetic Compas? RMI / ADF / VOR /DME?The number 3 emergency battery operated emergency VHF I think they should have one of those in a B737-300? The HF , weather radar map mode?
How about "Eye balls mark 1" and have a good look out of the window for some good old fashioned map reading, and at 06:30 Hrs at FL 310 or higher the sun should also give a fair idea of which way you are going, the average heading from Jakarta to Destination Makassar is about 085? Apparently the aircraft was in the air for about 4 hours for what should have been a two hour flight.Not a word to the 140 passengers all that time even thoug they noticed the aircraft climbing /descending climbing again circling etc?:hmm:

Ignition Override
15th Feb 2006, 08:01
Imagine the extra documentation to be approved by the FAA/CAA for procedural changes alone, not including a brand-new (to the airline) system, and the procedures on how the crew uses it and any interface with a "steam-gauge" HSI, or with the later machines which have triple laser ring IRS or IRUs! Then aircraft operating manual, flight ops manual, c0ckp1t oper. manual insertions, then the changes, revisions...never mind the extra equipment purchase and installation cost$.

How about installation and problems? A few months ago, we had 3 mechanics onboard, all "new" here, in order to replace a fluorescent light bulb in the fwd. lavatory (im wichtigen Klo) and a second, smaller bulb for the pink or blue light, just behind the c0ckpit door. True story. Young "Ellie", the first one who appeared, looked young enough to be in high school. Some of the folks have allegedly recently signed off logbooks without doing the work-this from a "safety" guy.

More of the future training will be done at home by "distance learning" (as some of it is now, including systems tests: install "JRE", followed by multiple clicks and away you go....a buddy recently was in his first A-330 (his first for ANY Airbus) training at the sim. building. Not just his first Airbus, but this is the larger ETOPS equipment. His Instructor gave him some papers and reportedly said "here is what you can do on the MCDU", and the Instructor disappeared for the whole training period!), in order to save the company money, which could easily be awarded to upper executives (United awarded FOUR HUNDRED of these "suits" with United stock. If true, why did they need 400 to "run" the place?), some of which have done a very bad job of navigating their corporations-but leadership skills are no longer required to instruct the unwashed, unlettered, uncouth peasants (labor).

15th Feb 2006, 14:31
With or without radar, the times are run on the flight plan. If you lose navigation capability, you resort to dead reconing. Headings should be flown per the flight plan based on ETAs on the flight plan. The radar coverage in S/E Asia is limited to the larger cities at best. Communications are H/F and spotty at best utilizing relays usually through Perth radio.

However, first and foremost, if there was a discrepency with the GPS or IRU plain and simple, don't move the jet. There are more jobs for NG pilots than pilots to fill the seats.

Don't let these scumbags operators compromise your integrity, safety, and your airmans certificates

16th Feb 2006, 09:02
Re 'communications are H/F and spotty at best utilising relays usually through Perth Radio'....

Thanks for that, we did try hard...

However, in about April 2001, we were 'closed' - made 'redundo' to save $'s...
something to do with what was termed, 'affordable safety'...
"Your Safety Will Be Enhanced, And It Will Cost You (The Industry) Less'....was the mantra!

And, with H/F sites located at both Perth and Cocos Is. for both INO and SEA freqs. the service we provided WAS very good - THEN!

And yes, we did do many a relay for those who we heard calling, calling...

16th Feb 2006, 09:34
Anytime Ex FSO GRIFFO.

I spent a few years flying around that part of the world from the mid 90s through 2000. The first months were rather nerve racking especially approaching FIR Boundry Points. I compare it to going to somebody's home, knocking on their door and no ones home. The next best thing was to try the old radio relay thing. During those years, Perth was a great help, even when we tried to contact Jaakarta Radio when approoching their area of control! I would hope that there would be some improvement.:hmm:

Sure was interesting flying.

16th Feb 2006, 11:05
Are we talking about an Asian airline with an Asian crew?

If so, why are we surprised?

16th Feb 2006, 14:09
Generalize much amos2?

20th Feb 2006, 19:26
The world according to GARP

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SOURCE:Flight International

Adam Air 737 pilots lose way after cockpit systems failure

Navigation equipment on Indonesian twinjet ‘stopped working’ after leaving Jakarta

Indonesia’s National Trans­portation Safety Commission (NTSC) will be interviewing the pilots who made an emergency landing on an isolated island airstrip after experiencing problems navigating an Adam Air Boeing 737-300 to its destination.
The aircraft (PK-KKE) took off from Jakarta on 11 February and made an emergency landing at Tombulaka airport on eastern Indonesia’s Sumba island, says Pritap Widjaja, the NTSC investigator examining the incident.
Sumba is a relatively remote island about 550km (300nm) south of the aircraft’s scheduled destination of Makassar, an Indonesian city on Sulawesi island.
Indonesian news reports say that, after leaving Jakarta, the aircraft’s navigation and communication equipment stopped working. The pilots later made an emergency landing at Sumba because they were unaware of their position and were unable to locate Makassar, add the reports.
Widjaja declines to say if there was anything wrong with the aircraft’s navigation equipment, however. He says this is now subject to investigation and that he will be interviewing the pilots involved.
When asked if the aircraft was able to communicate with controllers, the investigator says: “According to air traffic control this was being handled by the Makassar advanced traffic system, but they were unable to receive any communications from the aircraft.”
He cites news reports as saying the aircraft was in the air for about 4h before it landed at Tombulaka airport, which has a 1,600m (5,250ft) runway that is normally only sufficient for turboprops such as the Fokker F27. Despite this the 737 landed safely, and none of the 136 passengers and seven crew on board were injured, adds the investigator.
Adam Air president Adam Suherman says the airline inspected the aircraft at Tombulaka on 12 February and found “nothing wrong with the navigation equipment”.

21st Feb 2006, 12:27
That would be the same Adam Air that Qantas is looking at buying......


21st Feb 2006, 13:44
I know this report is only from a journo

I know the captain was "only" a pilot, but the aircraft still ended up getting lost.

Since I'm sure you'd agree that the implication of village-idiocy sounds just as offensive when it's directed in the opposite direction, is a little professional courtesy still too much to ask here?