TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An Indonesian Military's (TNI) MI 17 helicopter with 12 people aboard lost contact with the Oksibil Airport in Papua after taking off at 11:44 local time on Friday, June 28. The pilot contacted the air traffic control (ATC) to report that it would ascend to 7,800 feet, 6 nautical miles to the north.
"The pilot then said 'thank you' at 11:49, and since then there has been no contact between him and ATC," Oksibil Airport Chief Frits Ayomi told Antara, Friday evening.
The weather around Oksibil at that time was fine, but a little bit foggy. The MI 17 chopper with registration number HA-5138 carried 12 people. They had earlier flown to Okbibab to dispatch logistics to military officers there.
The crew members are captain Aris (pilot), First Lt. Bambang (pilot), First Lt. Ahwar (copilot), Chief Sergeant Suriyatna, Second Sergeant Dita, Private Dwi Purnomo and Private Aharul.
The passengers are soldiers of Yonif 725/WRG, namely Ikrar Setya Nainggolan, Yanuarius Loe, Risno, Sujono Kaimuddin, and Tegar Hadi Sentana.
The Jayapura Search and Rescue office will send personnel to Oksibil, Pegunungan Bintang District, on Saturday, June 29, to look for the missing MI 17 helicopter.
"Ten personnel would leave by helicopter and a Cessna CN 295 of the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU), to find the missing helicopter," Chief of the Jayapura SAR Putu Arga said.