Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - A search and rescue team launched four sorties on Friday morning to trace the missing Twin Otter aircraft, bearing registration number PK-CDC, though the thick fog blanket over the targeted areas marred the rescuers' efforts.

The foggy weather rendered the search operation ineffective, though the SAR team members remained on standby in hopes of an improvement in the weather conditions, Head of the Timika Search and Rescue Agency (SAR) Monce Brury informed ANTARA here.

Brury explained that the weather had played spoilsport, thereby impeding efforts to locate the disappeared aircraft, owned by PT Carpediem Air, he stated, adding that the search operation will later be directed at tracking the point where the airplane had lost contact.

On Thursday, the search and rescue team had conducted five unsuccessful sorties to locate the Twin Otter aircraft that had gone missing on Wednesday morning.

The search operations involved two aircraft and 13 SAR members, including those from the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Indonesian Air Force, and the police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob).

They attempted to trace the missing aircraft until Jila sub-district's area in Mimika District, Brury noted.

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The aircraft, carrying onboard nearly 1.6 tons of the State Logistics Agency's (Bulog's) rice, disappeared after take-off from the Moses Kilangain Airport in Timika, Mimika District, en route to Ilaga, the capital of Puncak District in Papua Province.

The chartered aircraft belonged to PT Carpediem, head of the Moses Kilangain Airport in Timika, Ambar Suryoko stated.

It was piloted by Dasep, who was accompanied by a flight officer, an engineer, and a passenger, head of the Jayapura SAR Agency Putu Agra remarked earlier.

The aircraft, which bore the registration number PK-CDC RTB, took off at 10:36 a.m. local time and was scheduled to land at Ilaga at 11:09 a.m., Agra stated.

However, when the whereabouts of the aircraft could not be ascertained until 11:35 a.m. at Ilaga, the aviation authorities there issued an INCERFA status at 11:40 a.m. to notify all concerned about the status of the aircraft and those on board, he stated.

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Translator: Evarianus S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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