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​Trigana Air has long history of safety issues

Prior to the 16 August disappearance of a Trigana Air ATR 42-300, the carrier has been involved in 19 serious safety incidents since 1992, resulting in the loss of eight aircraft and major damage to 11 others.

The Indonesian government has said that the aircraft, registered PK-YRN and operating flight IL257, probably crashed in mountainous terrain in Ok Bape district of eastern Papua, while carrying 49 passengers and five crew. The search for the aircraft continues.

Prior to IL257, overall fatalities related to Trigana’s operations come to 14 passengers and nine crew members, according to Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database.

Ascend shows that the most serious accident involving the carrier occurred on 17 November 2006, when a Trigana DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed into a rock face on Mt. Gergaji while operating the Muli-Illaga route, killing nine passengers and three crew.

Prior to IL257, the carrier’s most recent accident occurred on 11 January 2015, when the crew of another Twin Otter lost control upon landing at Indonesia’s Enarotali airport in Papua. There were no injuries or deaths, but the aircraft exited the runway onto rough ground, causing its nose carriage to collapse.

Trigana types that have been lost or heavily damaged in accidents since 1992 include one Antonov An-72, one ATR 42-300 (prior to the 16 August disappearance of PK-YRN), 13 Twin Otters, and three Fokker F27s.

The previous ATR 42-300 accident took place on 11 February 2010 with the aircraft registered PK-YRP. After a problem with the left engine on final approach to Samarinda, the crew elected to divert 55nm to Balikpapan using the right engine only.

Ten minutes later, en-route to Balikpapan, the engine control unit for the right engine came on, and the crew broadcast that both engines had failed. The crew carried out an emergency landing in a field. Of the 46 passengers and six crew on board, only one passenger was injured. The aircraft was written off.

Ascend shows that 11 of the Trigana’s 19 accidents occurred during landing, while only three occurred en route.

Privately-owned Trigana operates 17 aircraft: eight older-model 737s, five ATR 42-300s, three ATR 72-200s, and one Twin Otter.

Trigana operates both domestic scheduled and charter passenger and cargo services from its Jakarta Halim airport main base to over 20 airports across Indonesia. Much of Trigana's charter work is undertaken in support of the mining, oil and gas industries, and includes offshore helicopter operations.

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