Plane carrying 5 passengers loses contact in Papua

A small aircraft carrying five people has gone missing in the country's easternmost province of Papua.

The aircraft, belonging to PT Associated Mission Aviation, went missing at 11:08 a.m. local time on Wednesday after departing from Wamena in Jayawijaya.

The flight was scheduled to arrive in Darakma village at 11:30 a.m.

However, only eight minutes after takeoff, the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) received an emergency locator transmitter from the aircraft.

"The aircraft lost contact on route from Wamena to Darakma at 2:08 UTC time or about 11:08 a.m. [local time]," PT AMA director Djarot Soetanto told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The aircraft, piloted by Wouter Moulders and co-piloted by Valens Ido Naibaho, carried three passengers and 508 kilograms of cargo.

A land rescue operation is currently under way to locate the aircraft, Djarot said.

The airline has sent its representatives to Wamena, namely senior pilot Eric Roberts and Nobertus Tunyanan, who is also a representative of the National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) in Papua.