Control tower may be to blame for plane crash

MEDAN’S airport control tower might have been at fault for not directing the pilot of the Garuda plane away from the deep ravine into which it crashed last Friday, the Kompas daily reported yesterday.

The newspaper, quoting sources, added that the pilot’s final conversation with the tower had been overheard by pilots of Merpati and Bouraq airlines aircraft.

It said that Captain Rachmo Wiyogo sought clearance to land and asked the tower if the flight path was clear and had any obstacles.

The tower instructed him to move left and drop his altitude to 2,000 feet, way below the safety requirement of 7,500 feet.

Minutes later, the Airbus crashed. Some trees in the area were flattened, suggesting the aircraft was flying low.

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