Event Details

Title:Descent from cruise and crash into river, Aircraft Accident Report, Silkair Flight MI 185, Boeing B737-300, 9V-TRF, Musi River, Palembang, Indonesia, 19 December 1997
Micro summary:This Boeing 737-300 crashed into the Musi river.
Event Time:1997-12-19 at 0913 UTC
File Name:1997-12-19-ID.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC)
Publishing Country:Indonesia
Report number:Unknown
Site of event:Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia
Departure:Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Cengkareng, Banten, Malaysia
Destination:Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 737-300
Flight Phase:Cruise
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:This report is on the accident involving the SilkAir flight MI 185, a Boeing B737-300, which crashed into the Musi river near Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, on 19 December 1997, at about 16:13 local time (09:13 UTC).

SilkAir flight MI 185 was operating as a scheduled passenger flight from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Singapore Changi Airport.

The flight departed about 15:37 local time with 97 passengers, five cabin crew and two cockpit crew.

The airplane descended from its cruising altitude of 35,000 feet and impacted the Musi river, near the village of Sunsang, about 30 nautical miles north-north-east of Palembang in South Sumatra.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.

Prior to the sudden descent from 35,000 feet, the flight data recorders stopped recording at different times. There were no mayday calls transmitted from the airplane prior or during the descent.

All 104 persons on board did not survive the accident, and the airplane was completely destroyed by impact forces. Except parts of the empennage that found on land, most of the wreckage was found buried in the bottom of the Musi river.

About 73 percent by weight of wreckage was recovered, although due to the magnitude of destruction of the airplane, the small mangled pieces precluded finding clues, evidence or proof as to what have happened, how and why.

The safety issues in this report focused on the areas of flight operations, the flight data recorders, the human factors and control systems malfunctions.

The investigation yielded very limited data and information to make conclusions possible.

The report is pursuant to the technical investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) of Indonesia.

The investigation was conducted in accordance with the standards and recommended practices of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. In accordance with Annex 13, the sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bang, pop, crack, sizzle!
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Uncontrolled Flight into Terrain
Other - Boeing 737 In-flight upsets
Consequence - Hull Loss
Close match:Final report of the accident investigation, Flash Airlines Fight 604, Boeing 737-300 SU-ZCF, Red Sea off Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, January 3, 2004
In-Flight Fire And Impact with Terrain, Valujet Airlines Flight 592, DC-9-32, N904VJ, Everglades, Near Miami, Florida, May 11, 1996
Uncontrolled Descent and Collision With Terrain, United Airlines Flight 585, Boeing 737-200, N999UA, 4 Miles South of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, Colorado, Springs, Colorado, March 3, 1991
In-flight upset, United Airlines Flight 585, Boeing 737-291, N999UA, Uncontrolled Collision with Terrain for Undetermined Reasons, 4 Miles South Of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 3, 1991


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