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Jakarta Post

American pilot dies after humanitarian group aircraft crashes in Papua

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 12, 2020   /   09:29 pm
American pilot dies after humanitarian group aircraft crashes in Papua The plane took off from Sentani airport in Jayapura at 6:27 a.m. local time and the pilot made a distress call two minutes later. (Shutterstock/Jaromir Chalabala)

A small Kodiak aircraft operated by United States-based Christian and humanitarian aid organization Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) crashed into Lake Sentani in Papua on Tuesday morning, killing its American pilot.

The plane took off from Sentani airport in Jayapura at 6:27 a.m. local time and the pilot made a distress call two minutes later.

The Search and Rescue (SAR) team recovered the body of the pilot, the only person aboard the aircraft, at a depth of 13 meters in the lake at 8:30 a.m. local time.

"The body was immediately taken to Bhayangkara Police Hospital,” Jayapura SAR chief Zainul Thahar said as quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday.

Papua Police spokesperson Comr. Sr. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal identified the pilot as Joyce Chaisin Lin, a 40-year-old US national.

Tolikara Regent Usman Wanimbo said the utility aircraft had likely been transporting books and school supplies from Jayapura to the Papua Harapan Foundation in Mamit village, Tolikara regency.

Air transportation is vital in Papua because road networks are limited. MAF provides aviation services to inaccessible locations to transport medicine, doctors, disaster relief, education, evangelists, food supplies and clean water for community development.

According to MAF's official site, maf.org, Lin was a pilot and an IT specialist who obtained her private pilot's license during university.

As a MAF missionary pilot, she also helped set up and maintain computer networks to allow missionaries and humanitarian workers in remote areas to contact their supporters and access resources on the internet. (aly)