A Garuda Indonesia McDonnell Douglas (MDC) MD-11 is undergoing structural repairs for damage caused by a tail strike, in the latest runway incident to hit the national airline.

The mishap occurred in Hawaii on 21 June and is the third time in the past few months that a Garuda aircraft has been involved in a landing incident. None of the three accidents has resulted in any known injuries, but it is causing concern at a time when aviation safety in Indonesia is attracting increased scrutiny.

In the latest event, the MD-11 is understood to have been on a Category 3 automatic landing at Honolulu and was off the centre line of the runway when the pilot elected to make a go around. The tri-jet, however, suffered a tail strike before clearing the runway.

A subsequent inspection of the aircraft revealed an estimated $1.5 million worth of damage, including a cracked aft pressure bulkhead. An MDC team has been sent to Hawaii to repair the aircraft.

Another Garuda MD-11 was involved in earlier incident on 5 April at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport. The aircraft overran the runway after landing in bad weather at night. All three of the MD-11's General Electric CF6-80C2 engines were removed and showed possible minor ingestion damage.

In another overrun incident on 20 March at Taipei's international airport, a Garuda Boeing 747-200 sustained damage to its main landing gear. The aircraft was being landed in bad weather.

The recent incidents follow the crash in June 1996 of a Garuda MDC DC-10 at Fukuoka, in Japan, which killed three passengers.

Indonesia's transport minister Haryanto Dhanutirto is attracting growing criticism after a series of fatal domestic airline accidents. A Merpati British Aerospace ATP crashed in April, killing 15 people, while another three died in July when a locally built Merpati Casa 212 crashed on Ambon Island.

The death toll from the crash on 17 July of a Trigana Fokker F27 in Bandung has risen to 30. The investigation is probing a suspected failure of the No 1 engine.

Source: Flight International