Thursday, March 08, 2007
Reflections on a tragedy
We managed to get to the crash site less than eight hours after flight GA 200 crashed, and what a sight it was.

The charred but recognizable form of a jet airliner incongruously lying in a rice paddy-field numbed me for a second when I first saw it. There was a huge crowd of local residents surrounding it, watching as if something might happen. But the wreckage was still, lifeless and obscene. All around debris from the panicked evacuation: empty bottles of water, in flight magazines and the detritus of a flight that ended in sudden carnage. Towards the back of the plane, the two massive jet engines that had been ripped from the wings as the Boeing 737-400 plunged off the end of the runway. And the on the right side of the jet; two enormous wheels from the smashed landing gear.

After an initial pause to simply take in bizarre and awful scene in front of us, we were straight into a frantic rush to make our deadline. There was a report to compile and send, and then the main CNN International Asia programme needed me live impossibly soon. Some how we managed to get everything done in time. But then the rest of the network was soon on the phone: CNN US, CNN Pipeline, CNN Headline News, CNN Wires, CNN Radio, CNN.com, all vying for a tailor-made report.

When the initial onslaught of demands was satisfied, there was time once again to reflect on what had happened. While the chorus of crickets, frogs and insects struck up the nocturnal sound of the tropics, we sat between live shots and simply looked and thought. The randomness of who survived and who died was particularly hard to fathom. Those awful images of people staggering away from the wreck were in all our minds as we packed up and left. We all fly almost every week and know a crash is a remote possibility. But seeing what it’s like up close made us all feel queasy. Several journalists were among the dead. It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to think of us on the plane – and those stomach-churning final seconds as the jet slammed off the runway and burst into flames.

When we got back to our hotel that night, we met several members of the international press pack based in Jakarta. Their faces bruised with grief. They knew both the journalists and Australian Embassy staff who died, but somehow were still able to do their job with diligence and professionalism, telling the world of the horror of flight GA 200.

-- From Dan Rivers, CNN International Correspondent
I am a Flight Attendant, and I find that 85% of flyers do not pay attention to the safety demonstration. I am happy to hear that there were 120 survivors on the GA 200 flight.
This is indeed an eye opener, so when I sit down to watch CNN I am in fact watching the combination of 5 or 6 CNN's
Question have not got be asked about safety but the airports themselves as many airports are bulit with min lengths for type of aircraft now arriving in these places. Also certain Airports in Indonesia like yoga, makassar, solo, bandung other like these are in areas of every changing winds directions either due to mt in the area or volcanic actions. I've been in 3 heli emergency landing in suliawesi due to these winds as well as some scary landing in twin otters which even some of them due to winds come close to overshot. So does Indonesia have to money or area near airports to extend the runways/taxiways given the conditions?
Even balikpapan you can sit the southern end and watch new/old 737 come in hard and fast or taking off and leaving low and this strip in on the ocean and over bulit due to traffic and resources companies input....
Talking about a curse,my girlfriends resum� since 2000 is at follows:
after barely surviving the sectarian violence in Ambon,she was evacuated by helicopter,had to run for her life while her collegues were slaughtered with parangs by Laskar Jihad militants they burned down her house with everything she had in it.When violence diminished in 2001 she started a year later(after recovering partly from PTSS)a business importing clothing from Bandung and distributing it to different islands around Ternate (Northern Maluku)by ferryboat.Since then many disfortunate things happened until now:2 young worker died in separate motorbike accidents,1 worker suddenly died from unknown spontaneous sickness in 48 hours (my partner paid all hospital expenses,post mortem and funeral which is local custom),one chartered speedboat capsized with
10 000 euro value of her stock lost at sea,one worker in charge of shop on Morotai narrowly escaped death because a failed diagnosis of dengue fever (hospital, bloodtransfusions,etc. 2000 euro),the government then abolished fuel subsidies resulting in fuel hike of 40% and all transport rose significantly in price as a consequence.Last year another ferry boat capsized with value of 55 000 euro(!)of her stock,she herself got dengue fever as well,after that she also had to go to a Jakarta hospital for treatment of kidney problem.After the ferryboat disaster north of Java the government ordered all sea transport to a halt until further notice so she could not do any business since.
Two weeks ago her shop on Sanana island was destroyed by earthquake.
So, whats next?
My partner suffers an extremely harsh life in a very adverse environment trying to do her business;she is not giving up, yet...
Donald Trump would go bankrupt for sure if he would be doing business over there!
This country Indonesia is surely cursed and the government over there doesn't help either.
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