Bodies recovered from Twin Otter crash in Indonesia

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Search and rescue crews have recovered bodies from the wreckage of a Trigana Air Service de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter that crashed into a mountain in Indonesia’s West Papua province.

The Twin Otter, registered PK-YPY, was on a charter flight on 17 November from Mulia to Ilaga in West Papua but “at around 08:30 local time” the aircraft crashed into a mountain about “6-7min” before it was due to land at Ilaga, says an official in the airline’s Jakarta headquarters who wishes to remain anonymous.

None of the nine passengers and three crew on board survived, says the official, adding that the passengers were officials from one of Indonesia’s regencies.

“This morning I got a report from our manager in Papua that the bodies have been recovered and sent for identification,” says the official, who confirms Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Commission is investigating.

It took some time for rescue teams to reach the wreckage because it was on the side of mountain which meant they needed to come in by helicopter.

But “they had a problem finding a good place to make a helipad and they had to prepare and come in equipped with oxygen because [the crash site] is more than 10,000ft about sea level”, says the official.

Reports suggest weather conditions were good at the time of the crash but often such reports can be misleading because at high-altitude mountain areas there can still be covered by cloud, says the official.

Trigana Air Service mostly operates ATR turboprops but according to ATI’s sister product ACAS the carrier also had three Twin Otters in service. Aircraft Guarantee Trust owns PK-YPY and it was built in 1977, says ACAS.

In Indonesia a regency is a subdivision of a province.