JAKARTA ~ Records show that a string of aircraft have never been found after disappearing in Indonesia:
– A Garuda Indonesia Airlines plane with 21 passengers and five crew on board disappeared in 1961 near the island of Madura.
Despite an extensive search, the DC-3 plane, which had been flying from Surabaya to Balikpapan in Kalimantan before it presumably crashed, was never found.
– More recently, in 1995, a Merpati Nusantara Airlines plane with 14 people on board was never found. The Twin-Otter plane went missing en route from Bima on Sumbawa island to Ruteng on Flores island on January 19, 1995.
– A chartered Pan Malaysia Air Transport plane carrying 16 people disappeared 35 minutes after take off from Medan in North Sumatra bound for Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province, on January 30, 1993.
– A Bolkow BO-105 army helicopter went missing shortly after take-off from Medan in North Sumatra on August 22, 1994.
– The first husband of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri, Air Force first lieutenant Surindro Supjarso, and his T-701 airforce aircraft went missing in Biak, Papua, in 1970.
Even when a plane is reported missing, it can be days – or years – before its wreckage is found:
– A Bouraq Indonesia Airlines plane disappeared in Papua on August 9, 1995, with 10 people on board, but the wreckage of the Hawker Siddeley HS-7482A was found five days later on a steep mountain slope. There were no survivors.
– Angkasa, an Indonesian magazine on aviation, reported back in 2000 that wreckage from a Piper PA-23 aircraft that went missing while flying over Aceh in 1970 was only found eight years later in the jungles of North Aceh.