Wed, 10 Aug 1994

Search workers fiund first missing chopper

JAKARTA (JP): Search and rescue workers sent out to comb the jungles of East Kalimantan for a helicopter that disappeared on July 26 instead found the wreckage of a chopper that had been missing since May.

The wreckage belongs to a Sikorsky helicopter of registration number PK-OBS that went missing on May 5 with two people on board, Heru Legowo, head of the search operation, was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying yesterday.

The charred remains of both men, pilot Suyanto and passenger Suyono -- were found near the wreckage. All of the helicopter was burned except for the two rotors.

Both bodies have been airlifted to Balikpapan, according to the report.

Heru, the chief of the Search and Rescue (SAR) team at Sepinggan airport in Balikpapan, said that he is now awaiting instructions from Jakarta on whether or not to continue the search for the other missing helicopter -- also a Sikorsky with registration number PK-OBT which was carrying 18 people on board.

The SAR team had originally planned to call off the search on Saturday, but decided to carry on when they first spotted the wreckage on Friday.

Both helicopters belonged to the private operator Air Fast Indonesia and were rented out to PT Sumber Daya Alam, a logging company, when they disappeared. (emb)