Plane Carrying 102 Missing in Indonesia
Associated Press 01.01.07, 8:52 AM ET
A commercial Adam Air passenger plane with more than 100 people onboard lost contact with flight controllers Monday on flight between Indonesia's Java and Sulawesi islands, officials said.
Adam Air flight KI-574 was still missing more than five hours after the scheduled arrival time.
A senior Transport Ministry official, Ichsan Tatang, said aviation authorities were gathering information from other flights which "might have picked up the plane's distress signal."
Adam Air's chief executive, Gunawan Suherman, confirmed to The Associated Press that controllers had lost contact with Adam Air flight KI-574.
The plane left Surabaya in East Java at 1 p.m. local time on a two-hour flight to Manado on the northern tip of Sulawesi island, Tatang said.
An Indonesian air traffic controller, Bhabr, told Metro TV the plane hit "very bad" weather and may have run out of fuel because, if still airborne, it would be "over its (fuel) limit."
"This is an emergency," Bhabr, who like many Indonesians uses one name, told the broadcaster.
It's last contact with flight controllers was at 2:07 p.m. near southern Sulawesi, Tatang said, adding that it only had enough fuel for a four-hour flight.
Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa confirmed the plane had lost contact, but could provide no more details.
Adam Air, a privately owned low-cost airline, began operations in Indonesia several years ago and most of its flights are domestic.
Last year, one of its jetliners lost all communication and navigation systems for four hours during a flight between the Indonesian capital Jakarta and Makassar on Sulawesi Island forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.
The transport minister said at the time he would investigate.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
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