Papuan airspace, including in Wamena, is one the most dangerous in Indonesia, due to mountainous landscape and changeable weather. (Antara Photo/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Pilatus Aircraft Goes Missing in Papua

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

JULY 05, 2017

Jakarta. Single engine Pilatus PC6 Porter aircraft carrying five people went missing in Papua on its way from Wamena to Darakama on Wednesday (05/07) morning, with bad weather hindering search and rescue attempts.

The airplane, owned by local airline operator Associated Mission Aviation (AMA), departed from Wamena at 11.08 a.m local time, and was expected to reach Darakama at 11.30 a.m. It disappeared from radar screens eight minutes after takeoff.

Pilot Wouter Moulders, copilot Valens Ido Naibaho, and passengers identified as Sanabut, Don and Domget were on board. The plane also carried 508 kilograms of cargo.

"We have prepared a search team, but Wamena air navigators said it was still foggy, so there can be no flights for now," Jayapura Search and Rescue Agency chief Melkianus Kotta told reporters.

AMA, founded in the 1950's to help a Catholic mission on the island, sent two of its pilots, Eric Roberts and Norbert, to assist in the search.

Papuan airspace is one the most dangerous in Indonesia, due to mountainous landscape and changeable weather.

In the past months, two airplane crashes claimed the lives of 14 people.

Cessna C208 Caravan plane went down near Oksibil Airport in April, killing the pilot who was bringing more than a ton of food supplies to the inland regions. In December, Indonesian Air Force's Hercules C-130 crashed near Wamena, on Lisuwa mountain, killing 13

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