SilkAir Flight 185Friday December 19, 1997
The plane disappeared off radar screens and shortly after, crashed into the Musi River. The plane, almost brand-new, cruising in good weather and with an experienced crew, suddenly left normal flight from 35,000 feet and crashed at a high rate of speed into the Sumatran jungle. The right wing and parts of the rudder separated from the aircraft before it crashed. The Indonesian National Transportation Committee found that there was insufficient evidence to find a cause for the accident. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board strongly disagreed and stated the jet's cockpit voice recorder was intentionally disconnected and its flight controls placed in a nose-down position most likely by the captain. While the U.S. NTSB stopped short of using the term suicide, its dissenting report made it clear it believed the crash was the result of actions by the captain. In July 2004 a California jury found the manufacturer of the PCU valve that controls rudder responsible for the accident after the valve was located and showed defects which may have led to a rudder hardover.