Garuda pilot details Fukuoka crash

The captain of Garuda Indonesia Flight 865, which crashed at Fukuoka airport last June, said he aborted takeoff because he thought the aircraft might hit objects or buildings nearby if he continued, according to the draft of a report released Feb. 21 by the Transport Ministry’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee.

The draft disclosed the first oral statements made by the captain and other crew members following the accident. However, it does not state whether the captain’s decision to abort the takeoff was correct.

On June 13, the DC-10, carrying 260 passengers and a crew of 15, failed to takeoff and skidded about 620 meters off the runway and into a field. Three people died in the ensuing fire.

According to a statement made by the captain when he was interviewed by the investigation committee, he felt “something unusual” when he tried to rotate the aircraft. The captain reportedly said the aircraft failed to rise fast enough and that the speed suddenly dropped by between 3 knots and 6 knots. Then he said he heard a thud and felt the aircraft’s thrust had also decreased, according to the draft report.