Investigators are examining the actions of the pilots involved in a Lion Air crash on April 13, which was the result of a Boeing 737-800 landing short of the runway at Bali’s Denpasar-Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport.
Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) has questioned the pilots and they have also undergone drug and alcohol tests, which they have reportedly passed. The Indonesian Directorate of Civil Aviation, meanwhile, has temporarily suspended the two pilots while the investigation is underway, as is standard practice.
The NTSC says the 737-800 was on final approach to runway 09, but then landed short of that runway at around 3.30 p.m. local time. Lion Air’s spokesman has also said publicly that the aircraft landed short of the runway.
All of the 101 passengers and seven crew on board survived the crash. The aircraft was completing a flight from Husein Sastranegara Airport in Bandung, in west Java, to Denpasar-Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport, which has a runway that extends into the sea.
The 737-800 landed on shallow water, broke into two and then ended up stranded on rocks about 50m (165 ft.) from the beginning of the runway. Forty-six of the passengers were taken to hospital, mostly with minor injuries. All except seven of the passengers had left the hospital within 24 hours.
The aircraft, local registration PK-LKS, was new; Lion had taken delivery of it from Boeing last month. Some industry analysts have suggested that wind sheer may have been a factor. There was also reportedly rain in the area at the time of the incident. The airport runway at Bali, however, is relatively long at 2,984m, and also has 60m of overrun length.
According to Denpasar airport weather data for the time of the crash, the wind was light at around 6 kt. and variable, with wind direction shifting between 110 deg. and 270 deg. There was also unlimited visibility and a few cumulonimbus and scattered clouds at around 1,700 ft., according to the Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety Network website.