Two Planes Make Emergency Landings

JAKARTA ~ Two Boeing jets operated by private Indonesian carriers made emergency returns on Wednesday to their airports shortly after takeoff for “technical reasons,” officials said.

A Mandala Airlines plane that left Jakarta’s Sukarno-Hatta airport returned some 30 minutes after takeoff, Mandala spokesman Alex Wijoyo Cundo said.

“All I can say is that it was because of technical reasons,” Cundo said.

A Batavia Air plane returned to Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi, 20 minutes into its flight to Jakarta, an airport official said.

“It left at 23:23 GMT and returned at 23:43,” the official said, adding that technical reasons were also cited for the sudden return of the Boeing 737-400.

A Batavia spokesman, Zacky, said there was “a problem with the gear” but did not elaborate.

Speaking about the Mandala plane, an airline spokesman said it was one of the company’s “old Boeings” and declined to comment further.

Elshinta radio, without citing sources, said malfunctioning front wheels had forced the plane’s return.

Sukarno-Hatta International Airport administrator Bambang Cahyono later said the Mandala aircraft made another attempt but returned to the airport because its landing gear indicator continued to remain lit.

Another Mandala plane was also grounded after air safety officials reported that “the navigation system was not running well.”

Cahyono said the same inspectors evening grounded a Batavia Air aircraft on Tuesday evening for a malfunction in its “power management circuit.”

All three aircraft were grounded until the malfunctions were repaired, he said.

The latest incidents come in the wake of a string of transport accidents in Indonesia that prompted President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to form a team to evaluate and improve transport safety.

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