As a Lion Air flight JT-892 came into land at Gorontalo airport on northern Sulawesi island, on Tuesday 6th August, the Boeing 737-900 crashed into a cow and skidded off the runway into a field with the plane’s tail remaining on the runway.
Not one of the 110 passengers and seven crew on board was killed or seriously injured and all passengers disembarked safely. The cow, however, was crushed to death under one of the Boeing middle wheels. The pilot, Iwan Permadi said he smelt “burning meat” as the plane ran over the animal. He said he thought there were dogs in front of the plane as it came into land, “but it turned out there were three cows wandering in the middle of the runway“.
The airport was closed following the incident with only one small jet managing to take off on Wednesday
This incident will do nothing to improve the image of Indonesian air transport which has the one of the worst reputations in Asia for safety. Lion Air had an incident on April 13, when one of its 737–800s failed to make the runway at Bali’s Denpasar airport pitching into the sea metres from the runway. No one died in that incident but Indonesia’s air safety authority was scathing about the carrier’s pilot training. In a survey, I conducted 80 percent said they would choose to avoid flying Lion air. I wonder how hitting a cow will affect international regulators’ regard for Indonesian air safety.