The Jakarta Post
A tour helicopter reportedly crashed near Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara when it was about to land from a tour in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara.
The crash happened in Kawo village in Central Lombok on Sunday afternoon, injuring four people including the Indonesian pilot. The three passengers, tourists from Germany, the UK and Chile, were also injured. Luka Marie from Germany was reported to have broken her leg in the crash, the police reported.
“It fell just outside the airport’s fence, in Kawo village,” said I Gusti Lanang Wiswananda, the spokesperson of the local search and rescue agency.
The pilot, Capt. Kustiyadi, was reported to be in a good condition, while passengers Nicholas Alexander from the UK and Donoso Lilo from Chile, were reported to have sustained minor injuries in the crash, West Nusa Tenggara Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Purnama said on Sunday.
Purnama said the pilot had reported engine failure at about 500 meters above the ground.
The helicopter belonged to Bali-based PT Carpediem Air, which provides a chartered helicopter service under the brand Fly Bali. The website, accessed on Sunday afternoon, shows that the company offers the service for Rp 9.8 million (US$700) to Rp 55 million per helicopter per trip. The trip costing Rp 55 million is a 90-minute trip to tour Lombok and the Gili islands from Bali.
The Transportation Ministry’s Air Transportation Directorate General said it was already investigating the incident. The helicopter which had come from Labuan Bajo, last made contact with air traffic control at Lombok airport at around 2 p.m. local time. Just a minute later, the helicopter fell.
“All parties have coordinated to handle the rescue process,” said air transportation director Polana B. Pramesti in Jakarta.
An air rescue fire fighting team, comprising 10 personnel, was also deployed to the crash site at 2:30 p.m. local time.
“I call on all air transportation service providers to make safety a priority,” Polana added.
A Fly Bali staffer who declined to say her name, contacted by The Jakarta Post, confirmed that it was the company's chartered helicopter. She said the company was still waiting for more information about the incident. (vny)