Monday, August 03, 2009

Merpati Nusantara Airlines Twin Otter missing in Indonesia

by B. N. Sullivan

A Merpati Nusantara Airlines DHC-6-30 Twin Otter (registration PK-NVC) has been declared missing by authorities in Indonesia after it failed to reach its destination yesterday. On the morning of August 2, 2009 Merpati Flight MZ9760D departed Jayapura, Indonesia for a scheduled passenger service to Oksibil. The flight never arrived at Oksibil and is presumed to have crashed.

Merpati Nusantara Airlines DHC-Twin OtterThe Jakarta Post, quoting Merpati official Capt. Nikmatullah, reported that there were two pilots, a mechanic, 11 adult passengers and two infants on board the flight. The names of the crew and passengers on Flight MZ9760D have been released by Merpati, and were published by the Jakarta Post.

A search for the aircraft was set to resume today after having been called off yesterday due to poor weather. No signal from the aircraft's emergency locator transmitter (ELT) has been detected.

UPDATE Aug. 4, 2009: News reports from Indonesia say that a search plane has spotted aircraft wreckage believed to be that of the missing Merpati Twin Otter. The wreckage is located near Abmisibil, in the Pegunungan Bintang district in Papua, according to the Jakarta Post. No word yet on the fate of the crew and passengers.

UPDATE Aug. 6, 2009: The Jakarta Post reports that search and rescue workers have reached the site of the crash of the Twin Otter in a mountainous area of Papua and have confirmed that there are no survivors.