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Text of last 12 minutes of Indonesian plane crash conversation

September 29, 1997

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Here is the full text, obtained by The Associated Press on Monday, of the final 12 minutes of radio conversation between the Medan air traffic controller and the pilot of the Garuda Airbus that crashed Friday, killing all 234 people aboard.

The pilot is identified by his flight number, GIA 152. The other planes mentioned in the transcript are from domestic airlines: MNA 241, a landing Merpati flight; and BOU 683, a departing Bouraq flight.

At one point, the air traffic controller calls the Merpati flight by the wrong number, using the 152 that designates the Garuda flight.


Pilot to controller handling flights approaching Medan: Medan approach, GIA 152 passing 150 (the plane is descending, currently at 15,000 feet)

Air traffic controller: GIA 152 radar contact 43 miles (the controller sees on radar that the Garuda plane is 43 miles from the airport). Descend to 3000 feet for runway 05, reduce speed to 220 (knots).

Pilot: Descent 3,000 for runway 05. Reduce speed 220 knots GIA 152.

Pilot: Approach, GIA 152, request reason reduce speed above 10,000 (feet to) 220 knots.

Air traffic controller: OK sir, your traffic departure sir, now start engine, release traffic departure at or before 27. (The controller is referring to another plane that is about to take off, a likely reason for wanting the incoming plane to reduce its speed)

Pilot: 152 Like to maintain 210 knots, 250 knots and below 10,000.

Air traffic controller: OK. It’s approved.

Merpati plane: MNA 241 passing 10,000 (descending toward Medan, currently at 10,000 feet).

Air traffic controller: MNA 241 your position now 11 miles on W11 (controller advising flight 241 of its exact location). Contact 1212 (a request for the MNA plane to change radio frequency for landing). Happy landing.

Merpati plane: Selamat siang. Terima kasih. (Good afternoon. Thank you)

Air traffic controller: Any time.

Pilot: GIA 152 3000 (now at 3,000 feet).

Air traffic controller: GIA 152 maintain 3000 feet for a while. Maintain heading Medan VOR (continue heading toward Medan radio beacon), traffic now still taxi runway 23 (the departing flight is still on the runway).

Pilot: Maintain 3000.

Air traffic controller: Merpati 152 (the controller means GIA 152) your turn left heading 240 (turn to a heading of 240 degrees) vectoring for intercept ILS runway 05 from right side (the controller wants the plane to fly to, and align itself with, a radio beam from Medan’s Instrument Landing System that will guide the plane to runway 05). Traffic now about rolling (the plane departing from Medan has almost begun its takeoff).

Air traffic controller: GIA 152 do you read?

Pilot: GIA 152 Say again?

Air traffic controller: Turn left heading a (pause) 240,235. Now vectoring for intercept ILS runway 05.

Pilot: Roger heading 235 GIA 152.

Pilot: 152 heading 235. Confirm are we cleared from a (pause) mountainous area?

Air traffic controller: Affirm sir! Continue turn left on heading 215.

Pilot: On heading 215 GIA.

Bouraq plane: Good afternoon, approach. BOU 683 departed left turn (the Bouraq flight is taking off)

Air traffic controller: BOU 683 continue turn left on heading 120 initial 2,000 feet (fly to a heading of 120 degrees and climb initially to 2,000 feet).

(One line missing from transcript).

Air traffic controller: GIA 152, turn right heading 046 report established localizer (report when you have intercepted the ILS radio beam).

Pilot: Turn right heading 040 GIA 152 check established.

Air traffic controller: Turning right sir.

Pilot: Roger 152.

Air traffic controller: 152 Confirm you’re making turning left now?

Pilot: We are turning right now.

Air traffic controller: 152 OK you continue turning left now.

Pilot: A (pause) confirm turning left? We are starting turning right now.

Air traffic controller: OK (pause) OK.

Air traffic controller: GIA 152 continue turn right heading 015.

Pilot: (scream) Allahu akbar!

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