Indonesia searches for missing Twin Otter aircraft hinh anh 1Cargo plane Twin Otter, belonging to PT Carpediem, went missing on September 18. (Photo: Antara)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia launched a search and rescue operation to trace cargo plane Twin Otter that lost contact with air traffic control on September 18.

Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported the aircraft with four people on board including a pilot, a flight officer, an engineer and a passenger, went missing while en route from the Moses Kilangain airport in Timika, Mimika district to Ilaga, the capital city of Puncak district, Papua province.

Ambar Suryoko, head of the Moses Kilangain Airport, said the chartered aircraft belonged to PT Carpediem, and it was carrying 1.6 tonnes of rice for the State Logistics Agency (Bulog).

Head of the Jayapura Search and Rescue Agency Putu Agra said the missing aircraft took off from Timika at 10:36 a.m (local time), and was scheduled to land at Ilaga at 11:09 a.m (local time).

The search operation had yet to successfully locate the missing aircraft, while its fuel would have run out after being airborne for two hours and thirty minutes, he said.

Papua province is a problematic place to fly due to its mountainous terrain and frequent poor weather. On June 28, the Indonesian Army’s MI-17 helicopter with 12 people on board lost contact just minutes after it took off from a remote Oksibil district to Sentani district. The debris of the aircraft has not been found.

Earlier in 2016, a cargo plane carrying construction materials crashed in Ilaga, killing all four people on board./.