Superhawk 200 jets grounded: air force

Superhawk 200 jets grounded: air force

Pesawat Hawk 200 Single Seater (satu kursi) milik TNI AU jatuh sekitar 3 km dari Bandara Sultan Syarief Kasim II Pekanbaru, Selasa (16/10). Letda Penerbang Reza yang menjadi pilot pesawat selamat setelah melakukan "eject" dengan kursi pelontar. (ANTARA FOTO/HO/Ozi)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff, Imam Sufaat, has stated that the Air Force will stop using its Superhawk 200 jet fighters temporarily, in the wake of the jet crash in Pasir Putih, Kampar, Riau Islands, during a routine training mission on Tuesday morning.

"All Superhawk 200 jets will be grounded until we find out the cause of the crash. This is an anticipatory measure, since we do not want this to happen again," he said at the State Palace here on Tuesday.

Sufaat added that the Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee of the Indonesian Air Force was still investigating the cause of the crash.

"We cannot estimate how long this investigation will take, since there are many things that need to be investigated. However, I believe this was not caused by human error," he stated.

"There might be something wrong with the jet`s engine because the aviator will not eject himself out of the jet without any reason. I think he faced some engine trouble, so he decided to get out of the aircraft," Sufaat noted.

He said the Indonesian Air Force had two squadrons of Superhawk 200, with as many as 32 aircraft.

"Many of those jets were purchased in 1994," Safaat added.

The Superhawk 200 was made in the UK in 1980. It was reportedly the single-seat ground-attack version that crashed.

"The jet crash happened during the preparatory training for `Angkasa Yudha`," Safaat stated.

"In fact, the Air Force planned to conduct war simulation on October 23 in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung, by deploying all types of fighter aircraft, such as F16 and Sukhoi, as well as Superhawk 200," he explained.

"However, now, we will not use the Hawk until we find out the cause of the crash," Safaat added. (Y012/INE/BSR/A014)