By Ainur Rohmah
MALANG, (AA) Four people died when a military plane crashed into a house Wednesday in Indonesia’s East Java province — the latest in a series of accidents involving the country’s air force.
Air Force Chief Marshal Agus Supriatna said that the pilot of the Super Tucano aircraft parachuted from the aircraft before it crashed during a routine maintenance flight in Malang town in East Java.
“There are four people [dead]; the pilot, a technician and two citizens,” local news site Detik.com reported Supriatna as saying.
“The technician’s body is still in the cockpit. We will try to evacuate [him].”
Two of those who died were in the house when the plane hit, and local airfield spokesperson Major Hamdi Landong Allo said that the pilot was found 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the crash site.
“He died while being treated in the hospital,” Antara news reported Allo as saying.
The aircraft — purchased in 2014 — had been conducting a flight test at 7,620 meters, but started to have problems as it descended.
“After 15,000 feet [4572 meters], the aircraft went down, then the accident happened,” Supriatna said.
Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said that the government has asked the army to check its equipment, with Wednesday’s crash occurring just two months after another military aircraft crashed killing its two pilots during an airshow.
“With the accidents occurring within a relatively short period of time, there should be a re-evaluation of the aircraft used by the Air Force,” said Anung.
He added that the government would be prioritizing its investigation into the downing of the Super Tucano as the plane was relatively new.
Supriatna said that military personnel had already begin dismantling what remained of the house in an effort to retrieve the remnants of the aircraft.
[Photo: One of many Indonesian airforce crashes. 30 June 2015. Photgrapher AA]