Indonesian Navy plane crashes into Madura Sea

The Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) Navy is in mourning. On the morning of September 7, 8.30 WIB (Western Indonesia Time), a G-36 Bonanza T-2503 training aircraft belonging to the Indonesian Navy crashed into the waters of the Madura Strait (between Bangkalan, Madura, and Gresik Regencies) during a military exercise ADEX SIAGA Fleet II. 

The two Indonesian Navy pilots, First Lieutenant (P) Judistira Eka Permady and Second Lieutenant (P) Dendy Kresna Bhakti, have not been found at the time of publishing of this story.  However, the plane wreckage was found.

Officials at press conference. Photo credit: Public Relations Officer of the Indonesian Navy

The Indonesian Navy, in a press conference held September 8, said seven warships (KRI), one CN235 aircraft, two helicopters, two Komando Pasukan Katak (Kopaska) troops, two diving teams, and two KAL groups of patrol boats were deployed to search for the missing plane. Search and rescue activities are led by the Commander of the Second Fleet Command. 

“Based on the latest information, we have identified the plane crash site and found the wreckage. The cause of the crash is still unknown and we can only find that out after we salvage the wreckage,” said Rear Admiral TNI Dwika Tjahja Setiawan, S.H., M.H., commander of the Naval Aviation Center (Danpuspenerbal), during the press conference at the Indonesian Navy Headquarters (Mabesal), Cilangkap, East Jakarta. 

Setiawan said he hoped to find the two pilots soon and added the wreckage was found 15 meters below sea level.  He emphasized the plane was airworthy. “The aircraft, which was made in the U.S., entered service in 2013 and had had just completed the maintenance process on August 22,” he said.

Eyewitnesses claimed to have seen the plane swaying and heard rumbling sound just before it took a sharp dive and crashed into the sea.

In 2015, during a handover ceremony of four more Bonanza G-36 planes, Admiral TNI Ade Supandi, S.E., Chief of Naval Staff (Kasal), said the Navy must be accountable to the people and take good care of and maintain the Bonanza G-36 planes, as they are financed with public money.

Latest update September 9, 6.30 am: The two pilots were found dead inside the wreckage.

Top photo credit: Program Pemukiman TNI AL (Prokimal). Bonanza G-36 airplane.

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