The Jakarta Post
The search for an MI-17 helicopter that has been missing for over a month continued on Friday with the Indonesian Military (TNI) deploying military aircraft on reconnaissance missions to Papua.
The helicopter, which belongs to the Indonesian Army, disappeared on June 28 shortly after taking off from an airport in the district of Oksibil in Pegunungan Bintang regency in the province.
“We are entering the 33rd day [since the MI-17 disappeared] and the TNI is still conducting search efforts to locate the helicopter,” TNI spokesperson Maj. Gen. Sisriadi Iskandar said in a statement.
The TNI would deploy on Friday morning Boeing 373 and CN-235 reconnaissance aircraft, as well as the Army’s Bell 412 helicopter from Sultan Hasanuddin Air Force Base in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Sisriadi said.
Another CN-235 for logistics support would also be deployed for the search, he added.
The local air traffic control lost contact with the MI-17 helicopter at the same time as a cumulonimbus cloud suddenly appeared over the district of Oksibil late last month.
Cumulonimbus clouds are considered dangerous as they have the potential to disrupt flights.
The MI-17 was carrying 12 passengers on board, comprising seven air crew members and five personnel of Infantry Battalion (Yonif) 725/WRG, who were assigned to Okibab prior to the incident. The flight was carrying supplies for on-duty soldiers in the region. (ars/afr)