Air Force's Hawk Fighter Jet Crashes in Riau
Jakarta. A Hawk 209 TT fighter jet operated by the Indonesian Air Force jet crashed in a residential area in Kubang Jaya village, Kampar District, Riau on Monday, local media reported.
It was not immediately clear whether there was any casualty in the accident.
"Yes, a plane crashed about 500 meters from my house. The accident happened at around 8.30 in the morning," Wahyu, a resident of Kubang Jaya, told Antara news agency.
Wahyu said he did not know if there were any casualties since the spot where the plane had crashed was quickly closed off by Indonesian Air Force personnel.
"The plane crashed at the house of a resident, Markun. We don't know if there were victims. The house is empty, the owner is rarely at home," said another witness, who did not want his identity to be mentioned for security reasons.
He said residents have been kept at least 30 meters apart from the scene of the crash by the Air Force personnel.
This witness said he heard a loud explosion and then saw someone dressed in an Air Force pilot uniform floating in the air with a parachute.
"I thought there was a skydiving exercise, but apparently a plane had crashed," he said.
Air Marshal Fajar Adriyanto, the head of the Air Force Information Service (Kadispenau), confirmed a Hawk type 209 TT fighter jet flown by First Lt. Apriyanto Ismail had crashed in the village.
The jet had taken off from the Roesmin Nurjadin airbase in the provincial capital Pekanbaru.
"The location [of the crash] is around five kilometers from the airbase. The cause of the accident and the number of victims are still under investigation," Fajar said.
He said the pilot managed to jettison himself out of the plane before the crash, but there was no other information on his condition.
The crash was the second accident involving military aircraft in less than two weeks. On June 6, an Army helicopter crashed in Central Java and killed four on board.
The Air Force has been planning to replace its Hawk 100/200 jets with newer fighter jets as part of the Indonesian Military's recent efforts to modernize its weapon system.
The Hawk jets, manufactured by British BAE System, are housed at the Roesmin Nurjadin airbase in Pekanbaru and Supadio airbase in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.
The fighter jets have been in service with the Indonesian Military for 25 years.Tags: