A Bell helicopter owned by the Indonesian Military (TNI) crashed onto a runway at Ahmad Yani Army Airbase in Semarang, Central Java, at around 8:25 a.m. on Tuesday.
The helicopter from the Army Flight Training Center was being used for emergency procedure training. The aircraft suffered some damage but nobody was hurt.
“The student pilot and a flight instructor failed to perform a maneuver at an altitude of around 1,000 feet [300 meters]. They did not manage to control the helicopter and it crashed,” military spokesman Brig. Gen. Wuryanto told state-run news agency Antara on Tuesday. “We will conduct an investigation to find out what caused the accident.”
The crash caused the delay of two civilian fights and two airplanes had to cancel their landing Achmad Yani International Airport.
“The airport was closed from 8:20 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.,” said Anom Fitranggono, a spokesman for Semarang Angkasa Pura I, the state-owned company that manages the civilian side of the airport.
The accident comes within days of another military mishap, last Thursday. Then, an F-16 fighter jet operated by the Indonesian Air Force had to abort takeoff after an apparent explosion at the back of the plane.
The F-16 was one of four fighter jets that were scheduled to take off from Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in East Jakarta and perform a flyover above the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) headquarters in nearby Cilangkap, East Jakarta, for a ceremony where President Joko Widodo was bestowed honorary membership in the elite corps.
The plane was one of 24 used jets gifted to the Air Force under a grant scheme from the United States. Under the scheme, Indonesia was obliged to pay for an overhaul of the engines and electronics and routine maintenance fees.
“We will evaluate all [granted jets]. This is the first time such an incident has occurred,” Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshall Agus Supriatna said on Thursday.