On Apr 4th 2016, a Batik Air Boeing 737-800, registration PK-LBS performing flight ID-7703 from Jakarta Halim Perdanakusuma to Ujung Padang (Indonesia) with 49 passengers and 7 crew, was in the takeoff roll on runway 24 at 19:55L (12:55Z) when its left wing tip entangled with the vertical tail and left wing of a Transnusa Avions de Transport Regional ATR-42-600 registration PK-TNJ crossing the runway under tow and separated the most of the vertical tail plane as well as the left wing from the ATR, the left wing tank ruptured open.
Both aircraft caught fire, the Boeing was evacuated via slides. Fire engines responded and were able to put the fires out in a matter of minutes. There were no injuries, both aircraft received substantial damage.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Transport reported the Boeing was taxiing for departure, the ATR was under tow to a hangar when the aircraft collided causing damage to the left wing tip of the Boeing and separation of vertical tail and left wing of the ATR. There were no injuries. The airport needed to be closed however.
Ground observers reported the Boeing 737-800 was already accelerating for takeoff from runway 24, when the ATR under tow crossed the runway about 1280 meters/4200 feet down the runway. The Boeing rejected takeoff but could not stop in time to avoid the collision.
Radar data suggest the Boeing was accelerating for takeoff from runway 24 reaching about 110 knots over ground when takeoff was rejected. The aircraft came to a stop about 500 meters/1650 feet past the intersection of the runway with the only crossing taxiway.
Batik Air reported their flight was cleared for takeoff and was accelerating when the aircraft under tow crossed the runway. Their crew rejected takeoff however could not avoid the collision.
Indonesia’s NTSC have opened an investigation into the accident.
On Apr 10th 2017 Indonesia’s NTSC (KNKT) released their final report concluding the probable causes of the accident were:
– Handling of two movements in the same area with different controllers on separate frequencies without proper coordination resulted in the lack of awareness to the controllers, pilots and towing car driver.
– The communication misunderstanding of the instruction to follow ID 7703 most likely contributed the towed aircraft enter the runway.
– The lighting environments in the tower cab and turning pad area of runway 24 might have diminished the capability to the controllers and pilots to recognize the towed aircraft that was installed with insufficient lightings.