Indonesian Islander crash claims lives of all onboard

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Indonesian rescuers are now recovering bodies and wreckage from the Sabang Merauke Raya Air Charter (SMAC)-operated Britten Norman BN-2B Islander that crashed in East Kalimantan on 16 July.

All eight passengers and two crew are dead and investigators are now trying to discover the cause of the crash, says Directorate General of Air Communication operations and maintenance standards head Captain Oscar Sukandar speaking from Jakarta.

Hopes for survivors were raised on 17 July when intermittent signals were picked up from the aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter, suggesting somebody was trying to conserve the unit’s batteries.

Rescuers found the dead inside the aircraft, which lies on a mountainside about 5,400ft (1,646m) above sea level, 8km (4.3nm) east of the airport.

Just before the crash, the pilot told controllers at Long Barai’s airport that he had the runway in sight. Investigators are still gathering weather reports to determine if it played a role in the crash. Low cloud may have forced the pilot to go around to line up a visual approach, thinks Oscar, as the remote airport is not equipped to support instrument landings.