Sunday, Indonesia’s air transportation chief confirmed that the Trigana Air flight was found by villagers in the country’s remote and mountainous region of Papua.
- Papua is home to miles-high mountains, sheer cliffs and dense rain forests.
- It has 54 people including five crew members on board.
- The crew comprised pilot Capt.Hasanuddin, co-pilot Aryadin, mechanic officer Mario and female flight attendants Ika and Dita.
“The latest information is that the Trigana aircraft that lost contact has been found, residents provided information that the aircraft crashed into Tangok mountain,” Mr Suprasetyo, Indonesia’s air transportation director-general said.
Trigana Air flight was scheduled to arrive in Oksibil at 3:15 p.m. local time.Papua Police spokesperson Sr.Comr. Patrige said the aircraft which departed from Jayapura at 2:22 p.m, had not arrived in Oksibil. The Jayapura-Oksibil flight normally takes 55 minutes. Heavy rain, high winds and some fog were reported in the area around the time the plane disappeared. There were no reports of survivors.
Indonesia sent a search team to a remote area where villagers said they found the wreckage of a Trigana Air flight with 54 people on board that lost contact with air- traffic controllers amid cloudy weather. Sentani Air Force Base authorities, together with the search and rescue (SAR) team, had mapped the area around the flight path to estimate the location of the aircraft, Sentani Air Force Base commander Col.I Made Susila Adyana said.
According to Raymond Konstantin, operation officer at Jayapura Search and Rescue Office, “The weather was clear when the airplane took off, but 10 minutes before it was to land, it became cloudy and the airport wasn’t visible due to heavy cloud,” he added. “Maybe they could no longer see the airport. Weather can change very fast in the mountains.”
Since 1992, the Aviation Safety Network has 14 incidents registered on Trigana including one in January when an aircraft was severely damaged after running into a ditch while landing at Enarotali airport in Papua during strong winds. Trigana is one of a long list of Indonesian carriers banned from flying in the EU.IMAGE/AVH/Google Earth