Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Air Force has deployed a CN-235 fixed-wing aircraft to Timika to help locate a Twin Otter aircraft that had gone missing in the region since Wednesday (Sept 18).
Commander of the Timika Air Base Lt Col Sugeng Sugiharto remarked here on Thursday that the aircraft is expected to arrive in Timika at 11 a.m. local time to aid in the search and evacuation efforts.
"This morning, the Air Force chief of staff has sent an aircraft that will be readied in Timika to help the search operation and evacuation," he stated.
The Indonesian Air Force has also deployed a Caracal Helicopter to transport the joint search and rescue team to the location of the missing aircraft.
A Bell Army Helicopter, PT Freeport Indonesia's Bell Airfast Helicopter, and a Twin Otter PK-CDJ, owned by PT Carpendiem, also supported the SAR team's search operation.
Earlier on in the day, the authority had received information of the aircraft's passenger and crews receiving treatment at the Jila Public Health Center (Puskesmas). However, the information lacked any truth after the team deployed a Caracal Helicopter to locate the ill-fated aircraft in Jila.
A search and rescue operation has been launched to trace the missing aircraft that was transporting 1.6 tons of the State Logistics Agency's (Bulog's) rice.
The ill-fated aircraft became untraceable after taking off from the Moses Kilangain Airport in Timika, Mimika District, en route to Ilaga, the capital city of Puncak District in Papua Province.
Ambar Suryoko, head of the Moses Kilangain Airport in Timika, noted that the chartered aircraft belonged to PT Carpediem.
Head of the Jayapura Search and Rescue Agency (SAR) Putu Agra had earlier remarked that the missing aircraft was piloted by Dasep, who was accompanied by a flight officer, an engineer, and a passenger during the flight for transporting Bulog's rice.
Agra stated that the aircraft, bearing registration number PK-CDC RTB, took off from Timika's airport at 10:36 a.m. local time and was scheduled to land at Ilaga at 11:09 a.m. local time.
However, until 11:35 a.m. local time, this Twin Otter aircraft had yet to arrive at Ilaga, thereby prompting aviation authorities to issue an INCERFA status at 11:40 a.m. local time to notify about an uncertainty phase with regard to the safety of the aircraft and those on board, he stated.
Source: ANTARA News