Indonesian Air Force Begins Investigating Deadly Trainer Jet Crash

The T-50i' plane's wreckage is covered with a tarp after the crash in Yogyakarta on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Andreas Fitri Atmoko)

By : Robertus Wardhy & Priska Sari Pratiwi | on 5:50 PM December 20, 2015
Category : News, Featured, Transportation

Jakarta. The Indonesian Air Force has dispatched a team to investigate the crash of a US, South Korean-made T-50 Golden Eagle while performing an aerobatic maneuver at an air show in Yogyakarta on Sunday.

Both pilots were killed in the incident.

The team will be led by the Air Force's deputy chief of staff Air Vice Marshall Hadiyan Sumintaatmadja, Air Force spokesman Rear Marshall Dwi Badarmanto said.

“The investigation team has been flown to Yogya,” the spokesman said.

Dwi said the plane was one of 16 of jets delivered in 2013 by Korean Aerospace Industries to rejuvenate the aging fleet of trainer jets the Air Force has been using.

“The team will definitely employ the help of their South Korean counterparts,” Dwi said.

“We cannot confirm whether the other Golden Eagle [jets] can still operate. We are waiting for the leaders' instructions.”

The Air Force has not set a timeline for how long the investigation will last, the spokesman said.

“In time, we will reveal why the plane crashed,” he said.

Dwi said the pilots, Lt. Col. Marda Sarjono and Flight Capt. Dwi Cahyadi, were some of the best pilots the Air Force had ever seen, even though human error has not been ruled out.

Marda made outstanding achievements, he said. "He was s a squadron leader so he was highly qualified.”

The Air Force's Gebyar Dirgantara Yogyakarta air show was held over the weekend and stopped after the accident happened.

Defense Minister Ryumizard Ryacudu said earlier this year — after a military transport plane crashed into a residential area in Medan in late june, killing 143 people — that older aircraft would be retired.

Before that, in April, an Indonesian F-16 fighter jet caught fire during take-off, but the pilot managed to escape without injuries.

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