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Rescuers at work while Flight 269 smoulders on crash-landing

Phuket Air Crash Report Due For Release Today

Monday, July 21, 2008
TRENDS

PHUKETWAN has been told to expect the results of the Department of Civil Aviation investigation into last year's Phuket air crash to be released this afternoon.

Public access to the long-awaited report comes at an interesting time.

Budget airline One-Two-Go is to cease flying ''temporarily'' on July 22 due to cost pressures caused by oil prices and market conditions, the airline says.

Similar pressures must also be testing the executives at other airlines, especially those in the budget category. For Phuket, flights from Bangkok and overseas cities are the arteries that sustain the tourism industry.

The One-Two-Go suspension is happening just as British and American families of the victims of the crash of Flight 269 last year pursue compensation in US courts.

Ninety passengers and crew died when the plane slammed into the tarmac at Phuket airport on September 16, or soon after. Forty passengers survived.

A report published on July 20 in The Times Online says: ''Since the accident the airline has denied allegations by some of its former pilots that crews worked excessive hours and that maintenance standards were lax.''

While early reports blamed strong winds and rain for the crash, the Times Online article says a more complete investigation highlights pilot error.

Pilot Arief Mulyadi, 56, from Indonesia, and his Thai co-pilot were killed on impact.

One-Two-Go has denied allegations by some former pilots that crews worked excessive hours and that maintenance standards were lax.

According to the Times Online, Bonnie Rind, an American whose brother died in the crash, says she has obtained a transcript of material from the flight recorders.

''After a warning from the control tower of wind shear - a sudden, violent gust - the Thai co-pilot, who was flying the aircraft, opted to 'go around' for a second approach,'' the article says.

''However, according to the transcript provided by Rind, neither he nor Arief engaged the correct controls after retracting the wheels.

''As the MD82 continued to sink towards the runway, the co-pilot's last words were, 'You have control.' There was no response from Arief.

''For 15 seconds the engines could be heard idling as the MD82 descended, then for four seconds they roared to full power as an attempt was apparently made to save the aircraft.

''Two seconds before the crash a wind shear alarm went off. Then there was silence.''

We await this afternoon's release with interest.

Why Only Girls As Caddies?

READER Mike Smith was surprised by the Phuketwan article on the all-female caddies at Phuket's golf courses. Actually, we are not aware of any golf course in Thailand where male caddies are employed.

''I find this a little sexist,'' Mr Smith writes. ''Why can't we get young boy caddies in Phuket?'' Why indeed.

Love Among The Tsunami Ruins

WONDERFUL TOWN, a film about a love story set in the Phang Nga coastal town of Takuapa immediately after the 2004 tsunami, has won an excellent review from the New York Times.

Written by debut director Aditya Assirat, the film was praised by critic Nathan Lee who wrote:

''Mr. Assarat shelters this budding romance with surpassingly lovely filmmaking, easing into and out of scenes with an unrushed tempo that lets each emotion, thought and subtle effect flower, then fade away.

''His frames are meticulous without being fussy and his camera movements suave and suggestive, delineating the sentiment of the moment with precision and grace.''

Wonderful Town has just opened in Manhattan and is a NYT Critics' Pick.

Latest
TRENDS
from Phuketwan:

July 18
While Phuket resorts wait to see what August and September bring, some have contingency plans for staff layoffs. How deep will the oil price crisis bite? Surf carnival time; Your own tuk-tuk; Choosing a restaurant.

Jobs at Risk as Phuket Tourist Numbers Dive

July 17
A new festival on an island off Phuket is set to capture traditional life, and perhaps even the buffaloes that will be ridden and raced; The difference between Phuket Town and Phuket City, invisible people.

Buffalo Festival A First For Phuket

July 16
The piling went in but the Patong resort management discovered the classy new villas were above the 80 metre height limit. What to do? Three die in Patong landslip; Detox spa for Patong.

Patong Resort Cancels Villas For Height Breach

July 15
Phuket's hilltop Big Buddha is already attracting a steady stream of tourists and many Buddhist temples warrant visits, too; Patong tailors strike back with a honeymoon treat.

Temple Ceremonies Deserve An Audience

July 14
So it's Goodbye, Khun Suwalai. As Phuket tourism faces a new crisis, the TAT director who led the recovery after the tsunami heads for Europe and a new role. Her replacement is coming from New York

Phuket TAT Director Bound For Europe

July 11
Six months of waiting is over for the sailor at the centre of a strange night on board the Merlin that led to the death of a frogman; pawn shops record highlights economic downturn; minister quits after protests.

Kata Killing: Merlin Skipper Ready To Sail

July 10
Phuket's local authorities agree on a rubbish recycling plan; Treasury backs an island conference centre; Dubai resorts in tourism numbers crunch; New Phang Nga park planned; Burma cyclone latest.

Deal on Recycling Brings Hope For Phuket

July 9
First you see them, now you don't. One big brand is no longer going ahead with a large Phang Nga resort deal; twice daily tsunami warnings; Penang roadshow; Philippines gamble.

Big Brand Pulls Out of Khao Lak Deal

Look for
TRENDS
every day, Monday to Friday, at Phuketwan. It's essential reading.

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Sunday October 17, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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