Forces of Nature: The crash of Garuda Indonesia flight 421

Garuda Indonesia flight 421, after ditching in the Bengawan Solo River. (
PK-GWA, the Boeing 737 involved in the accident. (Werner Fischdick)
Route of Garuda Indonesia flight 421. (Google)
The gaps presented to the crew of flight 421. (KNKT) (Note: in the above map, red means LESS intense, the opposite of the map described in the previous paragraph.)
Observe violent fluctuations in numerous aircraft parameters beginning as soon as the plane enters the storm. The right boundary of the graph is the moment of engine flame out. The time between each vertical line is one minute. (KNKT)
A teardown of the battery revealed the problems shown above. (KNKT)
A rough map of the area where flight 421 came down. Note that the exact flight path is uncertain, as the black boxes had stopped recording, and radar lost track of the plane at low altitudes. (Google)
Animation of the ditching. (Mayday)
Onlookers at the scene of the crash. (Mayday)
Investigators and police enter the plane later that night. (Tempo)
The plane seen a day or two after the crash. Note that a walkway was built out to the doors to allow easier access, and Garuda Indonesia painted over its brand name on the side of the plane (a common occurrence after an accident in many parts of the world). (
Another view of the livery unceremoniously buried in black paint. (KNKT)
View from the bridge just upstream of where the plane came to rest. (KNKT)
Revisiting the site years later (evidently during the dry season!). (Jakarta Post)



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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at