Bad Weather Suspected in Crash of Two Air Force Attack Aircraft
Malang. The Indonesian Air Force has cited bad weather as a possible cause of the crash involving two light attack aircraft during a training mission in East Java on Thursday.
The incident involved two EMB-314 Super Tucano aircraft, each carrying a pilot and a co-pilot. Rescue workers confirmed discovering three bodies of the personnel onboard in Puspo district, Pasuruan regency, while the search for the fourth pilot continues.
"It appears that the incident was primarily caused by adverse weather conditions. However, further investigation is required for confirmation," Air Force spokesman Air Commodore Agung Sasongkojati said in a news conference at Abdulrahman Saleh Air Base in Malang, East Java,
Agung explained that the two Tucanos were flying in formation alongside two similar planes under unfavorable weather conditions that significantly limited the pilots' visibility.
"Due to safety concerns, two of the planes attempted to break away from the formation by ascending above the clouds," Agung stated. Unfortunately, contact was lost with the pilots of the other two aircraft, prompting the safe return of the remaining planes to the Malang base. Shortly after, reports of the crash were received.
The Air Force has dispatched a specialized team to locate and retrieve flight data recorders from the affected planes bearing tail numbers TT-3111 and TT-3103.
“These recorders store cockpit voice recordings, built-in camera footage, as well as data on altitude, speed, and aircraft location,” Agung said. "We urge the public not to disturb or remove any wreckage, as these components are crucial for the investigation."
While the debris of the TT-3103 plane was found on the slope of Mt. Bromo in Pasuruan, the location of the other aircraft remains unconfirmed.
Three Air Force officers, including Col. Widiono (TT-3111, back seater), Major Yuda A. Seta (TT-3103, front seater), and Col. Subhan (TT-3103, back seater), have been confirmed deceased in the incident.
The rescue team continues its search for Lieu. Col. Sandhra Gunawan, the pilot of the TT-3111 plane, although prospects of survival are minimal.
According to the Air Force statement, the four Tucanos departed from the Abdulrahman Saleh Air Base in Malang, East Java, for a routine training mission at 10:50 a.m. local time (3:50 GMT). Contact was lost at 11:18, and the remaining two planes safely returned to base at 11:31.Tags: