Three crew members of Rimbun Air heading towards Intan Jaya district from Nabire, Indonesia, were killed in a crash in a steep forest near the Sugapa airport on September 15. The De Havilland Twin Otter PK-OTW carrying construction materials on board had taken off from Nabire regency at 6:40 am WIT but was lost in the thick later, disappearing from radar and crashed in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province. The rescue team consisting of officers from search agency, Indonesia Military and national police found Rimbum Air DHC in the state of complete destruction at around 11:00 local time and confirmed the death of 3 crew members on board. The perished crew members include a pilot, a co-pilot, and a technician.
What actually happened?
According to the transportation ministry, the cargo flight lost contact with the air control in Sugapa about 50 minutes after take-off. The pilot’s cell phone was still active after the missing plane lost contact with ATC, though it was never answered, Sandi Sultan, Precinct chief of Intan Jaya, reported. The Twin Otter was found in pieces around 11: am by locals in Bilogai village at 2400m altitude.
The plane was just 3.5 km away from Sugapa’s Bilorai airport before the poor visibility due to thick mist caused the aircraft to hit the ground, completely destroying the aircraft. Witnesses at the airport nearby stated to have heard a loud noise and trees falling, which was the plane’s noise impacting the high ground. The chartered helicopter was deployed to search on dense forest above the airport. The rescue team located the plane’s wreckage at Wobu Mountain after an aerial search of Intan Jaya. One of the aircraft’s wings was lodged in trees, as shown in the video taken by Basarnas rescuers. The initial search team had hoped to find the crew members alive and evacuate them immediately, but the weather conditions and steep terrain obstructed the victim’s recovery. The evacuation process was further hindered due to the rainy and foggy weather at the crash scene. Soon, all three dead bodies were slated to be evacuated to Sugapa sub-district.
WorldALNews: RT @JacdecNew: Rimbun Air DHC-6 Twin Otter (PK-OTW, built 1976) crashed in Sugapa, Intan Jaya District, Papua, Indonesia with three crew on board. The cargo flight took off in Nabire and impacted high ground on approach to Bilogai AP (WABV).… pic.twitter.com/IdAhUTyKin— Matthew Weed (@matthewweed2016) September 15, 2021