SAMARINDA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) — A small Susi Air plane crashed in eastern Indonesia on late Wednesday afternoon, killing a South African pilot and his Australian passenger, officials said on Thursday. There were no survivors.
The accident happened at around 5:10 p.m. local time on Wednesday when the Pilatus PC-6 aircraft crashed near Ritan village, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Tabang in Kutai Kartanegara Regency of East Kalimantan province. The wreckage was not located until 1:30 a.m. local time on Thursday.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said both people on board the aircraft were found dead. The victims were identified as 27-year-old South African pilot Jonathan Willis and 57-year-old Australian passenger Ian Douglas.
“We can confirm a 57-year-old Australian man has died as a result of a plane crash in Indonesia. Consular officials in Jakarta are providing support to the man’s family in Indonesia,” a spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said, without giving other details.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said Willis was a photographer and the aircraft was flying in the region to carry out aerial photography. He said the aircraft was manufactured in 2009 and was believed to be in a good condition. “There were technical problems in the fuel system and they had to make an emergency landing after flying 5 hours,” he said, adding that the aircraft had a flying capacity of 7 hours.