Jakarta (XFN-ASIA) - The government has grounded all Boeing
737-300 aircraft operated by Adam Air after the fuselage of one of the planes
cracked during a hard landing yesterday, a transport official said.
The incident at Surabaya's Juanda International Airport caused what appeared to be a massive vertical split in the fuselage, leaving the rear section of the plane hanging downwards, though none of the 148 passengers and six crew were injured.
It was the latest incident involving the budget carrier after a Boeing 737-400 with 102 people on board crashed off the island of Sulawesi on New Year's Day.
"The aircraft is estimated to have undergone a hard landing that caused a deformation of the fuselage and landing wheels number one and four to break," transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said in a press release.
"As a move to prevent a similar incident, the transport ministry has taken steps through the directorate general of air transport."
The steps included the grounding of all Boeing 737-300 aircraft owned or operated by Adam Air to allow comprehensive safety checks by air transport officials.
An Adam Air staffer who declined to be identified said the airline had seven Boeing 737-300 aircraft and 16 other Boeing 737s.
The pilot has also been grounded until the National Transport Safety Committee completes its investigation.
Ervan said a team of aviation officials had begun a "special audit" of Adam Air and its management on February 19 as part of efforts to improve air safety.