Garuda Indonesia Flight 200

Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 (GA200/GIA 200) was a scheduled domestic passenger flight of a Boeing 737-400 operated by Garuda Indonesia between Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Indonesia.[1] The aircraft overran the runway, crashed into a rice field and burst into flames while landing at Adisucipto International Airport on 7 March 2007. Twenty passengers and one flight attendant were killed.[2]:7 Both the captain and first officer survived, and were fired shortly after the accident occurred.[3] It was the fifth hull-loss of a Boeing 737 in Indonesia within less than six months.[4]

Garuda Indonesia Flight 200
The aircraft involved in the accident pictured in 2005.
Date7 March 2007 (2007-03-07)
SummaryRunway overrun due to pilot error from inadequate airline training
SiteAdisutjipto International Airport, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
7°47′19″S 110°25′11″E
Aircraft typeBoeing 737-497
OperatorGaruda Indonesia
IATA flight No.GA200
ICAO flight No.GIA200
Call signINDONESIA 200
Flight originSoekarno-Hatta International Airport
DestinationAdisucipto International Airport
Injuries112 (12 serious)



The aircraft was a Boeing 737-400,[note 1] registered as PK-GZC, which had been operated by other airlines before being acquired by Garuda Indonesia.[5] The aircraft had accumulated over 35,200 airframe hours and 37,300 cycles since its first flight in 1992.[6]


The captain and pilot in command (PIC) was 44-year-old Muhammad Marwoto Komar, who had been with Garuda Indonesia for more than 21 years. He had 13,421 flight hours, including 3,703 hours on the Boeing 737. The first officer was 30-year-old Gagam Saman Rohmana, who had been with the airline for three years and had 1,528 flight hours, with 1,353 of them on the Boeing 737.[2]:8–10

Garuda Indonesia

The national airline of Indonesia (founded in 1949),[7] Garuda Indonesia had received a number of criticisms in the months surrounding the crash. According to Australian aviation experts, Garuda Indonesia had one of the worst safety records among the world's national carriers.[8] Since 1950, Garuda Indonesia has had 13 major accidents. As of 2007, the most recent was in 2002, when Garuda Indonesia Flight 421 ditched in the Bengawan Solo River due to engine flameout caused by excessive hail ingestion, killing a flight attendant.[8] The deadliest accident was in 1997, when Garuda Indonesia Flight 152 flew into a wooded mountain on approach to Medan, killing 234 people. The managing director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Peter Harbison, stated that the major accidents in Indonesian aviation history were all caused by the combinations of airports' and fleets' low safety standards and the poor weather conditions in the area, including severe thunderstorms and other forms of inclement weather.[8]

Flight chronology

Flight GA200 originated in Jakarta and was carrying 133 passengers, 19 of whom were foreigners (10 Australians, 2 Americans, 5 Germans and 2 South Koreans).[1] Several Australian journalists were on the flight, covering the visit of Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock to Java.[9] They were on the flight as the aircraft carrying Australian dignitaries was at capacity.[10]

At around 7:00 am local time (UTC+7),[2]:2 the captain attempted to land at Adisutjipto International Airport in Yogyakarta, despite a faulty approach with excess speed and steep descent, and the resulting warnings of copilot and flight system.[11] The aircraft touched down 860 metres (2,820 ft) beyond the runway threshold[2]:48 at a speed of 221 knots (409 km/h; 254 mph), 87 knots (161 km/h; 100 mph) faster than the normal landing speed.[2]:51 According to passengers, the aircraft shook violently before it crashed.[12] The aircraft overran the end of the runway, went through the perimeter fence, was heavily damaged when it crossed a road, and stopped in a nearby rice field. A fuel-fed fire raged, which could not be reached by airport fire-suppression vehicles. While most passengers were able to escape, a number of passengers perished inside the burning fuselage.[13]

Captain Komar initially claimed that there was a sudden downdraft immediately before the flight landed, and that the flaps on the aircraft may have malfunctioned.[14]


Flight 200 veered off the runway and struck an embankment before finally stopped in the middle of a rice field. A massive post-crash fire then destroyed the aircraft.


The accident was investigated by the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC). Australian Federal Police disaster victim identification experts were deployed to the scene to assist with the identification of bodies.[15] Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) staff assisted at the scene by inspecting the wreckage. The United States' National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dispatched a team to assist in the investigation, including representatives from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration.[16] The flight recorders (flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder) were removed from the wreckage and flown to the ATSB's headquarters for further analysis using equipment not yet available in Indonesia.[15] Staff in Australia could not extract data from the cockpit voice recorder, which was then sent to Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington (United States) to be analysed.

Report of the NTSC

Extended flaps and spoilers of a landing Boeing 737

After the crew members were interviewed, the wreckage was examined, flight data and cockpit voice recordings were analyzed, and a safety review of the airport was conducted, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee released its final report on 22 October 2007. No evidence was found of any defect or malfunction of the aircraft or its systems that could have contributed to the accident. Records showed only the right thrust reverser had been used for the previous 27 sectors, but a fault condition for the left reverser was reset by engineers before departure for this flight, and both were deployed during the landing roll. The weather was calm. It was noted that the Yogyakarta Airport did not conform to international safety standards, having a runway runoff 60 metres (200 ft) in length, compared to the recommended length of 90 metres (300 ft).[2]:51

The key NTSC finding is that the aircraft was flown by the Pilot in Command (PIC) at an excessively steep descent and high airspeed (241 knots (446 km/h; 277 mph) rather than the normal 141 knots (261 km/h; 162 mph) during the approach and landing, resulting in unstable flight. The PIC's attention became fixated on trying to make the first approach work, and he failed to hear the warnings of the copilot and his recommendations to abort the landing and go around, and the repeated warnings from the aircraft flight systems, which were audible in the voice recorder data, notably the "Sink rate" and "pull up" claxons. The copilot failed to take control of the aircraft in these extraordinary circumstances, as required by airline policy, apparently due to inadequate training. Wing flaps were not fully extended to the maximum 40°, not even to the 15° repeatedly requested by the captain, but only to 5° because the first officer was aware that this was the recommended maximum for that high airspeed, but he failed to notify the captain.

The touchdown, followed by two bounces, began 240 metres (790 ft) beyond the nominal touchdown zone. The nose landing gear was severely damaged and broke apart during the following roll. The main engine thrust reversers were deployed 4 seconds after the touchdown, continued for 7 seconds, but were stowed 7 seconds before the aircraft left the end of the paved runway and ploughed through the airport perimeter fence. About 160 metres (520 ft) beyond the end of the runway, the aircraft crossed a small ditch and adjacent road that is 1–2 metres (3.3–6.6 ft) below the level of both the runway and the rice paddy on the far side. The nose of the aircraft impacted the roadside embankment and the engines impacted the concrete curb just before that embankment. The aircraft came to rest in the rice paddy field 252 metres (827 ft) beyond the runway. It was severely damaged by the impact forces, leading to an intense, fuel-fed fire. Airport fire-control vehicles were unable to reach the crash site through the ruptured fence because of the slope and ditch between there and the road. The firemen were unable to deliver sufficient fire suppression foam on the burning aircraft because the hose that they dragged across the road became punctured by rescue vehicles and onlookers' vehicles driving over it and sharp objects such as the damaged fence. About 45 minutes after the crash, two city fire fighting vehicles arrived and were ordered by an un-qualified person to start hosing the fire with water. The fire was extinguished about 2 hours and 10 minutes after the crash. Coordination and procedures during the rescue were not in accordance with the Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) manual, and lacked coherence.

In summary, the NTSC Report attributed the accident to pilot error.

As of 1 March 2007, Garuda Indonesia had implemented a new fuel efficiency incentive, which awarded a salary bonus if fuel consumption for a flight was lower than nominal. During his interview with the NTSC, the captain denied that this had influenced his decision not to abort the landing.

Prosecution of the captain

On 4 February 2008, captain Komar was arrested and charged with six counts of manslaughter.[17][18] The charge carried a penalty up to life imprisonment if the court found the crash was deliberate. Short of that finding, the lesser charge of negligent flying causing death carries a maximum sentence of seven years.[19] The first officer testified that he had told the captain to go around because of excessive speed, and that he then had blacked out due to the severe buffeting.[20] On 6 April 2009, the captain was found guilty of negligence and sentenced to two years of imprisonment.[21] The captain's lawyers stated their intention to appeal on the basis that the Convention on International Civil Aviation, to which Indonesia is a party, stipulates that aviation accident investigation reports cannot be used to ascribe blame, but only to determine cause.[22] The Garuda Pilots Association and Indonesian Pilots Federation threatened to strike in protest against the conviction.[23] On 29 September 2009 the Indonesian High Court overturned the conviction,[24] finding that the prosecutors had failed to prove that the pilot was "officially and convincingly guilty of a crime".[25] This case was later cited in a report published by the American Bar Association, in a defence of the principle that airline safety is undermined by such prosecutions because the threat of them taking place would impede the investigative processes.[25]

EU ban and Garuda's reform

Following the crash of Flight 200, the European Union (EU) banned all Indonesian airlines from flying into the EU.[26] The ban was a watershed moment for Garuda, leading to widespread reforms within the airline to improve both its safety and service standards. It led to the implementation of the 5-year Quantum Leap improvement program. Garuda's fleet was nearly doubled with the introduction of new aircraft such as the Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330-300. Garuda also added more destinations by starting or resuming service to destinations such as Amsterdam and London.[27] The European ban on Garuda was lifted in June 2009, two years after the crash,[28] and the airline resumed service to Europe shortly afterwards with the inauguration of a one-stop service from Jakarta to Amsterdam via Dubai.

The crash is featured in the Season 15 premiere of Mayday (Air Crash Investigations). The episode is titled "Fatal Focus".[29]

See also


  1. The aircraft was a Boeing 737-400 model; Boeing assigns a unique customer code for each company that buys one of its aircraft, which is applied as an infix in the model number at the time the aircraft is built, hence "737-497"


  1. "Indonesia crash survivors describe ordeal". Reuters. 7 March 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  2. "BOEING 737-497 PK-GZC ADI SUCIPTO AIRPORT, YOGYAKARTA INDONESIA 7 MARCH 2007" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Committee. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  3. "Information on passengers of GA200". Garuda Indonesia. 7 March 2007. Archived from the original on 9 March 2007.
  4. Ranter, Harro. "Accident list: Boeing 737". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  5. "PK-GZC Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-497 – cn 25664 / ln 2393". Planespotters. 9 March 2007. Archived from the original on 30 December 2005. Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  6. Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 9 March 2007.
  7. Eagle, Stephen; Leow, Claire (17 March 2005). "Indonesia dismisses Garuda directors". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 March 2007.
  8. Ashton, Heath (7 March 2007). "Garuda in world's worst category". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2007.
  9. "Ruddock offers plane to crash survivors". The Age. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2007.
  10. McPhedran, Ian (18 June 2008). "VIP RAAF fleet upgrade follows tragedy". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011.
  11. Firdaus, Irwan (7 March 2007). "115 escape Indonesia jet crash; 21 die". Chron News. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 March 2007.
  12. Firdaus, Irwan (7 March 2007). "Flames engulf Indonesian jet, killing 21". Association Press Writer. Yahoo News. Archived from the original on 9 March 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2007.
  13. "Official: Indonesian plane's main exit didn't open". CNN. Reuters. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  14. "Pilot 'suicidal, blames wind gust'". NineMSN. 9 March 2007. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  15. "Garuda black box arrives in Australia". NEWS. Australian Associated Press. 9 March 2007. Archived from the original on 26 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  16. "NTSB SENDING TEAM TO ASSIST INDONESIA IN INVESTIGATION OF 737 CRASH" (Press release). National Transportation Safety Board. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  17. Forbes, Mark (5 February 2008). "Captain charged over Garuda crash". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  18. Fitzpatrick, Stephen (5 February 2008). "Garuda crash pilot facing jail". The Australian. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008.
  19. Fitzpatrick, Stephen (25 July 2008). "Garuda pilot 'missed chance' to correct deadly mistake". The Australian.
  20. Fitzpatrick, Stephen (28 October 2008). "Garuda co-pilot 'blacked out' in Yogyakarta crash". The Australian. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012.
  21. "Indonesian crash pilot sentenced". BBC News. BBC. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  22. "Landing in Jail; Garuda Pilot Sentenced to 2 Years in Jail for Negligence in March 2007 Yogyakarta Fatal Crash". Bali Discovery Tours. 11 April 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  23. "Garuda crash verdict sparks strike threat". Special Broadcasting Service (Australia). 27 April 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  24. Allard, Tom (12 December 2009). "Crashed jet pilot's conviction quashed in high court". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  25. Nemsick, Judith R.; Gogal Passeri, Sarah (21 March 2012). "Criminalizing Aviation: Placing Blame Before Safety". American Bar Association. Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  26. Clark, Nicola (28 June 2007). "EU set to ban flights of Indonesia carriers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  27. "Garuda Indonesia's Quantum Leap To be The World's Most Improved Airline - DetikForum". Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  28. Gelling, Peter (15 July 2009). "European Union Lifts Ban on Indonesian Airlines". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  29. "About Air Crash Investigation Show - National Geographic Channel - UK". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
External image
Pre-accident pictures of the airplane
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