MALANG, Indonesia (AFP) - An Indonesian military plane crashed into a house in a densely populated area during a test flight Wednesday (Feb 10), killing the pilot and two people in the building, an air force official said.
The Super Tucano turboprop came down shortly after taking off from Abdul Rachman Saleh air force base at Malang in East Java, said base commander Djoko Senoputro.
The pilot as well as two civilians, a woman and a man, were killed in the accident, he said. The plane’s engineer has still not been located.
“After doing a test flight for about 45 minutes, we lost contact with the plane soon after they were requesting descent,” Senoputro told AFP. “We received reports from people that the plane was seen crashing into a house and is buried in the debris,” he said.
An eyewitness said the light attack and trainer aircraft was climbing before it plunged into the residential area. It crashed very hard, emitting thick smoke and a strong gasoline smell, he said.
“I evacuated a man and a woman whose bodies were buried in the rubble of their own house,” Agus, a rescuer on site, told AFP.
The air force said it would conduct an investigation into the crash, the latest of several military aviation accidents.
In December last year two pilots were killed when a military plane crashed in central Java while performing manoeuvres. In June a Hercules C-130 crashed into a residential neighbourhood in Medan, the largest city on Sumatra island, killing 142 people and causing widespread destruction.