Indonesian copter pilot found 3 days after crash

Indonesian helicopter pilot Abdi Damain being airlifted to safety on Sunday. However, four other crew members are still missing.
Indonesian helicopter pilot Abdi Damain being airlifted to safety on Sunday. However, four other crew members are still missing.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM

JAKARTA • The pilot of an Indonesian army helicopter has been rescued alive days after the aircraft crashed on Borneo island, an official said yesterday, but four other crew members are still missing.

The injured airman was discovered along with the wreckage of the Bell 412 helicopter on Sunday, three days after the aircraft went down as it was transporting supplies to a remote army post near the Malaysian border.

"The pilot had to be lifted with a rope because the crash location was difficult to reach," army spokesman Sabrar Fadhilah told AFP, adding he had been taken to hospital for treatment.

But four other crew members on board at the time of the accident had not been found with the wreckage in mountainous terrain in North Kalimantan province, Mr Fadhilah said, adding rescuers were still searching for them.

It is just the latest crash for Indonesia's accident-prone military. Twelve people were killed in March when a military helicopter went down in bad weather on Sulawesi in central Indonesia.

It is not the first time an Indonesian has been found alive days after an air accident. In October last year, a man was found alive, floating in a volcanic lake on Sumatra island two days after the helicopter in which he was travelling crashed.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2016, with the headline 'Indonesian copter pilot found 3 days after crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe