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6th of August 2013

At 20.03 lt (local time) on this day in 2013, a Boeing 737-800 took off from Makassar-Sultan Hasannuddin Airport (Indonesia) with a crew of seven (2 pilots and 5 cabin crew) and 110 passengers. Its destination, Gorontalo-Jalaluddin Airport, Indonesia. For this flight, the captain was the pilot flying (PF), and the co-pilot was the pilot monitoring.

The aircraft in its final position with all gear off the runway (© NTSC) From take-off to final approach the flight was uneventful, the weather on the route to and at Gorontalo was good.

After receiving the landing clearance from ATC the aircraft touched down on Runway 27 at 21.13 lt. in the touchdown zone. While on the runway (~500 meters from the threshold) the crew observed some animals crossing the runway, approximately 50 meters in front of the aircraft. About 1 second later, at a speed of 120 knots, the aircraft hit the animals.

Sometime later PF noticed brake effectivity was lost and the aircraft started pulling to the left side of the runway. As the aircraft continued to decelerate it continued to veer to the left. During the roll-out, the smell of burned meat entered the cabin. The aircraft came to a stop 2100 meters from the threshold of Runway 27 with all gear on soft ground. The engines were shut down, and the smell of burning meat disappeared. At 21.14 lt ATC provided the taxi instructions to the flight, however, the crew did not respond to the instructions. 1 minute later, at 21.15 lt, the crew informed ATC that they hit some animals on the runway and that they had stopped on the left shoulder of the runway They also requested the assistance of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Brigade (ARFF). ATC reported back to the crew no fire was visible.

The left-hand main gear in the soft ground. (© NTSC)

The captain informed the passengers about the situation and instructed the passengers to remain seated, awaiting further instructions. However, some passengers opened an overwing exit on their own initiative and evacuated the aircraft. Two passengers sustained a sprained ankle as a result of their actions.

After the ARFF inspected the aircraft, they confirmed to the crew there was no fire. The decision was made to disembark the passengers from the righthand service doors, using steps brought to the aircraft. Two dead cows were found on the main landing gears. An investigation into the serious incident was launched by the National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia (NTSC). In their report the damage to the aircraft was reported as being limited to;

  • Hydraulic lines of the brake system

  • Weight on wheels sensor system

Although the smell of burned meat was reported, no damage to engines was reported. As contributing factors the following remarks were made in the investigation report;

  • Some fences at the north and south of the runway along about 500 meters were broken and some parts were not installed with the fences.

  • The Djalaluddin Airport has been audited by The Directorate of Airport dated 11 July 2013 number: 016/DBU-IK/VII/2013, as the findings it found that: some Airport perimeter fences were broken and the corrective action program did not perform. As such, This condition could be classified as extremely high since the findings were issued till this serious incident occurred.

The full investigation report is available for the readers' reference by clicking on the file below;

Boeing 737-800 cow strike on landing 6 Aug 2013
Download PDF • 1.33MB

Sadly the two cows lost their lives, one of them is seen here under the main landing gear (Source; © unknown)

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