A British Aerospace ATP turboprop operated by Merpati Nusantara Airlines crashed on 17 April on the Indonesian island of Belitung, killing 15 of the 53 passengers and crew. It is the first major accident to the aircraft type in ten years of service.

The aircraft (PK-MTX) was on final approach to Belitung's Buluh Tumbang Airport when it crashed into a coconut plantation 6km (3nm) short of the runway. Both engines are understood to have been feathered shortly before impact. The aircraft is one of five ATPs leased by Merpati from BAe.

Indonesia's Directorate General of Air Communications has recovered the ATP's flight-data recorder and is planning to send it to either Australia or the UK for analysis.

BAe has dispatched a team of investigators to Indonesia. The aircraft broke into three sections after crashing, but the its two Pratt & Whitney PWC 126A turboprop engines are reported to be reasonably intact.

The 15 dead included the two cockpit crew and a stewardess. The ATP was operating on a 1h sector from Jakarta to Belitung Island 400km to the north. Weather and visibility were reported to be good at the time of the crash.


Source: Flight International