Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 pilot forced to resign

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The pilot of the Boeing 737 which crashed on March 7 upon landing at Yogyakarta Airport after a domestic Indonesian flight, has been forced by his airline to resign. The crash of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 killed twenty-one people, most being Indonesian nationals and five being Australians, following a visit by then Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

Garuda sent the pilot, Marwoto Komar, an ultimatum requesting his resignation with which he complied. Had he failed to do so, his employment would have been terminated. The news coincides with police officials forwarding to prosecutors some documents recommending that Komar be charged with negligent manslaughter over the crash, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

The final report into the disaster found that Mr Komar ignored fifteen activations of the Ground Proximity Warning System informing him he was attempting to land too fast. After touching down at double the maximum safe speed, the aircraft overshot the runway and caught fire.

Kamal Firdaus, legal representative of Mr Komar, said "We regret Garuda so soon giving Marwoto the option of being fired or resigning."

Mr Komar was arrested early this month, but was subsequently released on bail on February 15. He is thought to be the first pilot to face prosecution for an aviation accident or incident in Indonesia.