Lion Air Plane Crashes into Cow


Poor thing. Imagine. You’re minding your own business, taking in the fresh air with a little green salad and you get rear-ended by one of those Bottom Gun pilots of Indonesia’s Lion Air.

The 110 passengers of the Boeing 737 are reportedly fine, or at least managed to disembark safely. The aircraft is preserved in mud (three days after the Tuesday incident) next to the runway in Gorontalo on Sulawesi Island

But a cow wandering along a runway winds up meat. Life just isn’t fair.

Indonesia has one of Asia’s worst aviation safety records and arguably the world’s best beef satay.

The pilot told local news he could smell “burning meat” as the jet ran over the animal. The flight originated in Jakarta and made a stop in Ujung Padang before reaching Sulawesi and the cow.

In fairness to the pilot, there’s probably nothing he could have done to save the cow. It was big and then just kept getting bigger. There is no second place on the battlefield. Or the runway.

I’ll bet seeing a large animal in front of you on touch down can pulp the mind. You go from earnest to clueless with no warning light. Probably didn’t even have time to think about the Lion Air flight that belly-flopped into Lombok Strait after falling short of the runway last April in Denpasar, Bali. All 108 people aboard that Lion Air flight also survived.

I’ll bet this week’s Lion Air pilot wishes he could have done a go-around into Sulawesi’s Gulf of Tomini and thereby saved the cow.

The Gorontalo airport was closed following the incident, disrupting travel plans for people heading home for the Eid al-Fitr holiday (Breaking the Fast after Ramadan) in Muslim-majority Indonesia with its more than 17,000 islands.

The worst disaster in aviation history happened March 27, 1977, when a KLM plane and a Pan Am aircraft collided on a runway in Tenerife killing 583 people.

In the last two years, Lion Air, Indonesia’s largest domestic carrier, have placed orders for more than 450 single aisle jets split equally between Boeing and Airbus.

The Tarmac’s View:  The best Indonesian beef satay recipe involves a marinate of lime juice, lemongrass, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, turmeric, coriander, cumin. Cut steak across the grain into thin strips. Grill over charcoal or wood chips; not burning rubber.


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Comments (Showing 8 of 8)

  • laggers at 2:04am August 10, 2013

    Not Funny BUT true

  • duniawala at 6:38pm August 10, 2013

    Old, old news. Did you just coe across it?

  • duniawala at 6:38pm August 10, 2013

    Old, old news. Did you just come across it?

  • mountainpost at 11:33pm August 10, 2013

    Thanks for both your comments duniawala. I know, your first comment was a typo – hey, I understand. I do that all the time. (Well, actually I’m the world’s worst speller, but I use “typo” as an excuse.) Please allow me to answer your question: Yes, it’s old news. It happened last Tuesday. You’re right! Wish I had the rank to send you a FT luggage tag.

    Did I just hear about it? No, I follow all that happens in Indonesia because I taught school there years ago and some of those barefoot kids I taught with sticks for pencils and dirt for paper and the back of their hand for an eraser are now nurses or running regional politics. I heard (herd?) of the cow incident within a few hours of the tragedy to both the cow and the aircraft. (I’m kind of an animal rights person as the first commenter was kind enough to remark on. Also an Indonesian junkie, I guess. Maybe I even follow aviation, after the fact.)

    Forgive me, but I don’t consider it my job to write you every time a friend of mine sends me an email with news from the other side of the world. Nor is it my job.

    If your point is I should write the Tarmac to offer you news; No, I’m sorry. Cutting-edge news is never my intention. I don’t have the resources, the paycheck, or the brains to do that.

    Given that 90 percent of comments are negative, I’m really, really hoping one of you negative folks will take over The Tarmac. (The Columbia School of Journalism did a study that suggested most negative commenters to publications like this are deep into a third cocktail.)

    Seriously, it’s yours if you want it. Let me no (dang typo, I meant know). The headmaster likes a post everyday. But I caution you, don’t quit your day job. You’ll be writing for lunch money. For news, I rely on real journalists with researchers, fact checkers, budgets and deadlines. I’m married to a real journalist. I’m old school: Never, ever would I rely on a blogger for facts. (I don’t even read The Tarmac – I just write it because I decided I don’t have the brains for the daily crossword puzzle I used to do.)

    Blogs are the Wal-Mart of news: Mostly cheap disposable junk. Stuff you don’t need and you buy out of boredom. And I include my Tarmac in that garbage pile. As for me, well, as the great American philosopher Popeye says: I yam what I yam.

    Blogs, for my mind, are the dumbing down of the world. Like mindless video games. Mindless! But a guy like me needs lunch money.

    The point of websites like this is to throw anything up on the wall, see what sticks and keep it coming. It’s not a news organization. It’s a business that sells ad space. The widget they make is YOU. They sell YOU. Advertising rates are a linear relationship to the number of eyeballs.

    Consider the comment above yours from laggers: If their point was a cow getting killed is not funny, well, I so totally agree. And the fact that they would write “BUT true” … well, that’s over-the-top flattery. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever written anything “true.” Or funny.

    Truth is, I’ve so had it with all the negativity that I never, ever read FlyerTallk. Really! I know commenters are only a fraction of the really, really smart people who post on treads. But it leaves such a bad taste in my mouth I can’t actually stomach reading the real FlyerTalk.

    Let’s face it: If I had any talent I’d be writing best-selling books. I’ve accepted my shortcomings; please do the same. But you can continue to tell the world what a fool I am, if you like. It amuses me. Seriously. At first it bothered me. Now it amuses me. That anyone would take this seriously is crazy given all the important knowledge out there to chase. Bloggers are mostly fools like me and most readers are too lazy to read the real stuff. I’m just a rewrite man. (In journalism school, most reporters will tell you they were told to always write for a Grade Six student.)

    Writers write for readers, and if you don’t respect the readers your writing suffers. But you already pointed that out about my stuff. In real life I coach a sport. I respect the athletes; I take the job seriously. And since I respect all of them I think I write way better stuff for the sport’s governing body. I’ve certainly had corrections from those readers, but never negative comments. Always a real name.

    Insults are so easy. Researching a contribution takes time and style and grace. By the way, I admire grace and charm even more than news, by the way. At my funeral, I want people to say: Whatever else Gerry was or was not, the guy led a fun life, always respected others, and tried to find grace and charm in life. I’d hate it if all they said was “that guy was on top of the news.” Even worse would be if they said, “Man, let me tell you, that guy could really, really insult people with his comments.”

    You must hate how it has become so politically correct to go after schoolyard bullies. Like, if a suicidal kid with pimples gets bullied, well, buck up kid and take it. Your world is a jungle duniawala.

    Honestly, I have no idea why FlyerTalk runs my dribble. Someone like you could offer real news. Please, please, take my Tarmac. I’ve always said I’ll stop the second somebody else wants it.

    Your point is to insult me (without your real name). Without contributing to the body of knowledge. Never, ever do I think I’m the smartest guy in the room. Maybe you are.

  • duniawala at 7:08pm August 11, 2013

    Dear Gerry
    I am sorry you took it so negatively. It was not my intention and I apologize if you feel that way.

    I joined Flyertalk just a few months ago. I thought it was a great forum but it is turning out not too great. 80% of the postings are complaints about trivial things and a a whole bunch of experts join in the discussions. I don’t know how it is ranked as one of the most influential blogs. I was under the impression that the featured articles would be commenting on the latest news but I guess not. Hence my comment on this. If it is of any worth, I do find most of your articles interesting. I congratulate you on taking this task of writing this column.

    I am currently looking for a job and searching for one for the last two years. One can only send so many resumes out a day. The rest of the time I read news papers and online stuff. So I came across this news a few days prior to it being posted here. So that’s my excuse for commenting, and it was never meant to be a negative.

    How about I send you one of my travel gadget I invented. You would like it. Just PM me and I will send you my website link. You can see what it is.


  • flyboy60 at 1:53am August 12, 2013

    That was a Moooooving story

  • maltasr at 7:23pm August 13, 2013

    In winter quarter 1966 while a student at the University of the Americas outside Mexico City, I recall a cow being made into mince meat at the Acapulco airport when a Western Airlines 707 arriving from LAX struck a lonely bovine who had wandered onto the main airport runway one evening. There was little damage to the aircraft, but the poor cow did not fare as well. There was, however, ample carne asada that night for the villagers who lived along the airport’s perimeter.

  • PresRDC at 10:56pm August 13, 2013

    This is not an unheard of situation. One of the first matters I dealt with when I joined my aerospace company employer involved a cow strike. The customer was seeking compensation from us. We politely told them to pound sand.

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