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Reverse Evolution?

14/05/2009

The other day we went to do a training flight where I just went along as an observer and start clearance was given as normal. After start when they tried to get taxi clearance we were denied and asked where was our Flight Approval. It seems another layer of bureaucracy has been introduced.

I went to go to the briefing office with the Training Captain and as we were walking over he rang the Chief Controller. He explained what the new process was and that it was now a requirement everywhere in Indonesia. From now on all training and local operations in addition to normal routes will require a flight approval. 

Naturally with this new requirement comes a new fee and in this case it is Rp100,000 per approval. These must be requested 24 hours in advance and if you need to modify it you have to pay again. Rp100,000 is only NZ$16 but it is a cost that adds up over time. It is also potentially a barrier to safety in a country that has an atrocious safety record. Pretty much all operators in not flying Jet aircraft don’t have simulators, therefore training needs to be done in the actual aircraft. A lot of operators seem to do very little training as it is and adding another cost will no doubt discourage their propensity to train properly even further.

On Monday an Air Force C-130 Hercules lost its landing gear while on approach to Wamena, a pretty unusual occurrence in the venerable Herc! Naturally much is being made about the fact the Air Force Hercules fleet has been undergoing refurbishment in Singapore and reading between the lines it seems they see this as the main causal factor. Just like the Air Force Fokker F27 crash in Bandung where it was blamed on weather rather than examining the human factors and deficient instrument training of Air Force pilots.

Indonesia Angkasa Udara Hercules (c) Andrew Clough

Indonesia Angkasa Udara Hercules (c) Andrew Clough

We were in Wamena yesterday but unfortunately I didn’t have time to take a picture of the poor old Herc sitting on its fuselage on the freight apron.

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