Trigana Air Services Boeing 737 Suffers Wing Damage On Landing

A Boeing 737-300 freighter was involved in a serious incident in Indonesia yesterday. The aircraft, operated by Trigana Air Services, made a hair raising approach into Wamena Airport. The plane touched down with the left-wing low, causing the wingtip and flaps to come into contact with the runway.

Trigana Air Services Boeing 737 wing damage
A Trigana Air Service 737-300 was involved in a serious runway incident in Indonesia yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

An “atrocious” piece of flying

The Aviation Herald first reported the incident. Their report says the freighter made an “unstabilized approach” to the airport. There is Youtube footage showing the plane coming fast out of the low cloud and landing in a display of airmanship one person called “atrocious” and another called “completely stupid.”

“From the video, it is an un-authorized duck-under maneuver, alignment to runway and dive for the numbers in an attempt to salvage the unstabilized approach, nearly cartwheeling into a fireball. The end,” says an Aviation Herald correspondent.

The Aviation Herald identified the Trigana Air Services aircraft as PK-YSZ. The Boeing 737-300 is 36 years old. It flew for China Southwest Airlines and Air China until 2002. At that point, Okay Airways leased the plane. In 2010, the Boeing went to Trigana Air Services via Wells Fargo Bank. It has flown for the Indonesian airline ever since.

According to reports and footage, after the fast approach, the aircraft rolled left and right as it touched down. At this point, the left wing tip and flaps made contact with the runway, causing considerable damage to the plane. The aircraft completed its landing without incident. There were two pilots onboard. Both pilots went to the hospital for checks following the landing.

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An interesting record for Trigana Air Services

Trigana Air Services, also known as Trigana Air, is based in Jakarta. They fly to 15 destinations around Indonesia and have a mixed fleet of 22 aircraft, mostly different models of 737s and ATRs.

Yesterday’s incident involved a freight service from Jayapura, the capital of the Indonesian province of Papua, and Wamena, also in Papua. The incident continues a rather sorry safety record for the airline that is only 29 years old.

In 2002, a Trigana Air Services de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed in heavy rain, killing all six people onboard. Eight years later, an ATR 42-300 operating a passenger flight crashed in a rice field near Balikpapan, Indonesia. All 52 people onboard survived. It seems both engines had failed in-flight.

Trigana Air Services Boeing 737 wing damage
Trigana Air Services has 12 ATRs in service. Photo: YSSYGuy via Wikimedia Commons

In 2012, a de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter got shot at while coming into land at Mulia Airport in Papua. There were eight passengers and two pilots onboard. One passenger died. Both pilots were injured, causing the plane to crash into a building at the airport.

Three years later, in 2015, another Trigana Air Services ATR 42-300 was carrying passengers from Jayapura to Oksibil, a town in Papua. It crashed in the Bintang Highlands, killing all 54 people on the flight. An investigation later attributed the cause to pilot error and the failure of the ground proximity warning system.

More recently, there was another incident involving a Trigana Air Services Boeing 737-300. In January, significant damage occurred to the undercarriage of a 737 freighter following a runway excursion in Jayapura.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee is opening an investigation into yesterday’s incident involving Trigana Air Services.