The Indonesian Air Accident Investigation Commission (AAIC) has obtained documents on the financial background of the pilot of the SilkAir Boeing 737-300 that crashed on 19 December, 1997.

The documents are expected to yield vital clues to the state of mind of Singaporean Capt Tsu Way Ming, who was in command of the flight from Jakarta to Singapore when it crashed into the Musi river, north of Palembang, Sumatra. All 104 passengers and crew were killed in the crash, which is suspected to have been caused deliberately by a crewmember, or by a catastrophic control malfunction.

Up to now, the documents were legally protected under Singaporean banking laws. AAIC chairman Oetarjo Diran says that the pilot's family released the information after being approached by the Singaporean authorities, which had been under pressure to speed up the investigation.

Tsu was demoted from the position of instructor in the months before the crash, and is believed to have been heavily in debt. The documents released are expected to prove or disprove this.

Source: Flight International