SA pilot killed in Indonesia crash

2012-04-26 07:19

Jakarta - A South African pilot and his Australian passenger were killed when their Susi Air plane crashed in eastern Indonesia, officials said on Thursday. It was the airline's third fatal accident in a year.

They were the only people on board the Pilatus PC-6 aircraft, which was carrying the Australian photographer on a chartered flight, the airline's operations director Christian Strombeck told AFP.

"The pilot was South African and the photographer was Australian. Both were killed," he said.

Their names were not given.

"The plane crashed Wednesday at around 17:30 local time (09:30 GMT), and the bodies were found at around 01:30 Thursday," he said. Another official had initially said the plane crashed at 01:30.

Aerial photography

"The Pilatus PC-6 aircraft was flying in East Kalimantan to do some aerial photography when it crashed," Strombeck added.

The plane went down near a village in the Kutai Kartanegara district, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told AFP.

"The aircraft crashed at the edge of a ravine," he said.

Susi Air is a small domestic airline that operates mostly Cessna Grand Caravan planes usually configured to carry 12 passengers and two pilots. It also operates a few smaller Pilatus aircraft.

In November, one of the company's Cessna aircraft crashed while trying to land in Indonesia's remote Papua region, killing a Spanish pilot.

Another of its aircraft crashed in September in Papua province, killing an Australian and Slovakian pilot.

The Indonesian archipelago of more than 17 000 islands relies on air transport to reach remote areas, and has a poor aviation safety record.

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  • winston.mullany - 2012-04-26 07:48

    "....has a poor aviation safety record." Thought that might be a giveaway in deciding NOT to fly for them. Condolences to the families!

  • Stille - 2012-04-26 07:55


  • leonao - 2012-04-26 08:01

    My son has been flying for them for 3 years now! My nerves are shot! They do make the best pilots, having to fly in those conditions, if only they get out alive! Lets just keep them in our daily prayers!

  • Gieljam - 2012-04-26 08:03

    SAD END for dedicated people , true pioneers and heroes ..

  • Paul - 2012-04-26 08:12

    Names anybody???

      Nicole - 2012-04-26 14:27

      Jonothan Willis, 27 from Kidds Beach, East London

  • 2zbunu - 2012-04-26 08:15

    There is always a problem with archipelago regions maybe the Pilots must avoid to fly over them. This domestic ariline seems to have poor safety measures in place. Condolences to the families.

  • Deana - 2012-04-26 08:24

    My deepest condolences to his family! I lost my dad in Iraq in 2010. I can still remember the horrible shock when reading about it in a newspaper! Dealing with a tragic death is bad enough- now the family have to worry about getting the deceased's remains back and all that red tape! Good luck and try to face the future bravely!

  • Msika - 2012-04-26 09:00

    Three fatal accidents in a year? Why are these poeple still allowed to operate an airline? Condolences to the families.

  • Niel Van Niekerk - 2012-04-26 09:59

    RIP my friend :(

  • Nicole - 2012-04-26 14:30

    Pilot was Jonathan Willis, 27, of Kidds Beach, East London. RIP JJ.

  • nilawson - 2012-04-26 17:46

    RIP JJ!!!

  • Leonardo - 2012-04-26 18:45

    "....has a poor aviation safety record." You're talking about something that you didn't really understand. What source do you have? Susi Air is a great company, but most of their flight are in VFR, mountainous area, short airstrip, etc... etc... so what do you expect? an ILS CAT III? My deepest condolences, they're great people and brave...

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