Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - The Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase in Riau province will temporarily suspend the operation of F16 fighter jets from the Air Squadron 16 after one of them skidded off runway and overturned in the airbase on Tuesday.

"The operation of F16s will be temporarily suspended after the main cause (of the accident) is known," Commander of the Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase Commodore Henri Alfiandi said here on Wednesday.

By Wednesday morning the airbase was still trying to remove the ill-fated US-made fighter jet from the runway, he said.

He said a team of the Aircraft Accident Investigating Committee (PPKPU) of the Indonesian Air Force Headquarters has been investigating the exact cause of the accident.

While the investigation is ongoing, the operation of F16s from the Air Squadron 16, either for the ongoing combat training or air patrol, will be temporarily suspended, he said.

The suspended operation of the F16 fighter jets follows the Air Forces standing procedure in response to the accident, he added.

"This is a procedure to take a cool down step," he said.

The Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase is the only airbase of type A in Sumatra. It has a squadron of F16s and a squadron of Hawk 100/200s.

On Tuesday evening, an F16 fighter jet skidded off runway at the airbase during landing after it conducted an exercise.

The two pilots of the ill-fated plane, identified as Major Andri Setiawan and 1st Lieutenant Marco Anderson are believed to have survived the accident.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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