Yesterday, our Air Force transport plane, i.e Hercules C-130, crashed on rows of houses in Magetan, East Java, causing the death of at least 99 passengers and 2 vilagers.
Viva News quoted Air Force's spokesman Air Marshall Bambang Sulistyo as saying that the plane was flying from Jakarta carrying 112 passengers & crews, and was about to land at Madiun Airbase when the accident happened.
Earlier, Air Force spokesman Sagoem Tamboen was quoted by MetroTV as saying that the plane's condition was good and the weather was clear before the crash.
This is the third accident that happened to our Air Force's plane in one month.
The first was on 6 April when a Fokker F-27 Transport plane crashed on an hangar in Bandung airport killing 24 of its crews and passengers. The second one was was on 9 May when another C-130 loose its rear wheels when it landed.
According various news media reports, the series of plane crashes suffered by our Air Force is caused by the long underfunded and handicapped by a recently lifted U.S ban on weapons sales.
The Air Force has operated C-130s since early 1960s, when it received 10 of them from the United States in exchange for the release of a CIA bomber pilot shot down in 1958 while supporting an anti-government mutiny.
Around 40 more were delivered over the next 20 years, many were secondhand, before the U.S government imposed sanctions on military deliveries because of violence that broke out during East Timor’s 1999 break for independence.
The Air Force has complained that many of the planes quickly became unserviceable because of the lack of spare parts. Though the embargo was lifted several years ago, the air worthiness of many is still in question.
President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono has instructed the Air Force to conduct a thorough investigation on the accident.
Considering that our country has been trying its very best to persuade European Union to lift its ban on our airlines flying to those countries, we should do our very best to investigate the above plane crash to show that we are serious in maintaining safe air travel.