Indonesian Air Force pledges thorough probe of deadly air-show jet accident

The day after a T-50i Golden Eagle jet fighter trainer crashed in Yogyakarta on Sunday, the Air Force reassured the public that it would conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the fatal accident, which claimed the lives of the aircraft's pilot and co-pilot.

Speaking to journalists during a visit to Yogyakarta, Air Force commander Air Chief Marshal Agus Supriatna said an Air Force investigation team, set up shortly after the incident, had been working to find out the cause of the crash,

"We will investigate everything, from [the jet's condition] to why the two pilots did not use the ejection seats," Agus said.

On Sunday morning, a T-50i Golden Eagle aircraft belonging to the Air Force crashed during aerobatic maneuvers at the 2015 Yogyakarta Air Show, held at the Adisucipto International Airport to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Air Force's flying school.

Lt. Col. Marda Sarjono, in the aircraft's front seat, and Capt. Dwi Cahyadi, sitting behind him, were both killed in the crash.

The jet trainer reportedly flew at heights of 150 to 4,500 meters during the solo attraction.

The air show was closed immediately after the accident, turning away the thousands of visitors who had flocked to the venue on Sunday morning.

The accident also made residents near the airbase panic for a while, as they were afraid that the plane would fall onto their houses.

Several hours after the incident, the Air Force's headquarters announced that it had formed an investigation team led by deputy Air Force commander Vice Marshal Hadiyan Sumintaatmadja to uncover the cause of the accident.

Agus said the team comprised of seven members and would soon be supported by another team from Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), which manufactured the ill-fated plane.

Agus, however, declined to speculate on the cause of the incident, saying that the public had to wait until the team announced the results of its investigation.

It was earlier reported that Indonesia had purchased a squadron of T-50i training jet fighters from KAI. The aircraft, which arrived from South Korea between 2012 and 2013, have replaced dozens of Hawk Mk-53 aircraft bought by the government in 1980s.

The bodies of Marda and Dwi, meanwhile, were buried on Monday at the Madiun Heroes Cemetery in East Java and the Yogyakarta Heroes Cemetery, respectively.

"They were both buried at heroes cemeteries because they were killed while performing duties," Adisucipto International Airport spokesperson Maj. Sus Hamdi Londong said.

Agus also told all aviators at the airbase to keep up their spirits and to prioritize safety while performing their duties.

"In line with regulations, we will give compensation to the victims' families. We will make sure that they have a place to live in and that their children go to school. It is our priority," he said.

The remains of the ill-fated jet fighter were still left untouched at the crash site on Monday, located at the eastern part of the Air Force Academy (AAU) in Berbah subdistrict, Sleman regency. They were covered with a tarpaulin and surrounded with yellow ribbons.

People were seen approaching the crash site to see the damaged body of the aircraft. Military police personnel on guard, however, banned them from taking pictures of the jet fighter.

Air Force spokesperson Rear Marshal Dwi Badarmanto said that the Air Force would not be purchasing a new aircraft of the same type to replace the crashed one.

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