Indonesia crash kills Spanish pilot
A small Cessna aircraft crashed while trying to land in Indonesia's remote Papua region on Wednesday, killing the Spanish co-pilot and critically injuring the New Zealand pilot, local rescue officials said.
Susi Air's Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft crash-landed on an airstrip in Paniai district after taking off from neighbouring Nabire, local search and rescue chief Sumpeno Yuwono told AFP.
"The New Zealand pilot has been rescued to a hospital in Timika town and the body of the Spanish co-pilot was sent to a nearby airport," he said, adding that the accident took place around 9 am local time (0000 GMT).
He said the cause of the crash was being investigated.
Zulfiqar, another search and rescue official who like many Indonesians goes by a single name, said that the aircraft was flying food supplies to remote villages in the Paniai district.
The sprawling Indonesian archipelago relies heavily on air transport and has a poor aviation safety record. Turbulent weather conditions in Papua have caused several accidents in recent years.
In September an Australian and a Slovak pilot were killed when their Grand Caravan, owned by the same company, went down in a remote area of Papua province.
Another small aircraft, also transporting supplies to remote villages for a Christian organisation in Papua, crashed the same month, killing its American pilot and two passengers.
© 2011 AFP