The pilot of a doomed Indonesian passenger jet might have decided not to abort a crash landing that claimed 21 lives a month ago because he wanted to save fuel, a pilots' representative said Thursday.
The Garuda Boeing 737-400 was flying at up to 425 kph (265 mph), almost double the normal landing speed, when it overshot the runway and burst into flames at Yogyakarata airport on March 7, an Indonesian government crash investigator said last week.
Garuda Pilots' Association President Stephanus Geraldus said a new airline cost-saving policy of paying bonuses to pilots who conserve fuel might have influenced the pilot's decision not to fly around and make a second approach.
"There should be no payment for the fuel policy for individuals because it is dangerous for safety," Geraldus told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
But Geraldus said he had no evidence that the pilot's decision in the disaster was influenced by the policy.
"I'm not sure," he said. "This should be investigated."
A preliminary accident report has not yet determined if pilot error caused the tragedy.
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