Mimika Air Flight 514

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Mimika Air Flight 514
An IRIAF PC-6 Porter in Vahdati Airbase Air Show.JPG
A Pilatus PC-6 Porter similar to the one involved in the incident.
Date17 April 2009 (2009-04-17)
SummarySpatial disorientation due to pilot error
SiteMount Gergaji, Papua, Indonesia
Aircraft typePilatus PC-6
OperatorMimika Air
Flight originIlaga, Papua, Indonesia

Mimika Air Flight 514 was a chartered passenger flight operated by Mimika Air flying a Pilatus PC-6 Porter from Ilaga (Papua) to Mulia. On the morning of 17 April 2009, while en route to Mulia, the aircraft impacted Mount Gergaji, killing all eleven people on board.

The Mimika Air crash was the second fatal aviation accident in Papua; and the third in Indonesia; in less than two weeks.[1] A cargo aircraft had also crashed in Papua on April 9, killing six people;[1] and an Indonesian Air Force aircraft had crashed in West Java on April 6, killing 24 people.[2]

The National Transportation Safety Committee released a report and concluded that the plane crashed due to pilot lack of familiarazation with the route and spatial disorientation after the aircraft entered clouds.

Flight route[edit]

The Ilaga-Mulia route is at high elevation and there are many mountain peaks. Pilots familiar with the route and the aircraft type reported that it was impossible for a Pilatus Porter to depart from Ilaga and climb over Mount Gergaji without a series of circling flight. If climbing circling flight were executed, the time interval between Mulia-Ilaga route would be considerably longer than the planned 18 minutes flight.[1][3]

Onboard the flight was one pilot, one observer, and nine passengers: eight adults and one infant. At the time of the crash, the aircraft was also carrying a voting box and paper for the national legislative election in the country.[4][3]

The pilot operating the flight had logged in 2,664 hours of flying experience which 1,412 of them was on the Porter. He held a current Commercial Pilot License from Myanmar. A Validation Certificate was also received by Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 12 February 2009.[3]


The plane departed from Ilaga Airport at 10.00 A.M local time and was to be operated using visual flight rules. According to records there was no radio contact between flight 514 the tower. 23 minutes after departure the control tower tried to make contact with the plane, but there were no response and a search operation was commenced. Later the search operation was scaled up when a signal from the crashed aircraft's Electronic Locator Transmitter was picked up by search aircraft.[3]

Indonesian search teams discovered the crash site the following day, during an air search.[1] The wreckage was still smoking when found, in inverted position. The engine, both propellers, cockpit and wings was destroyed by post-impact fire. The forward fuselage was also burned down alongside with the main landing gear.[1] The Porter had gone down on Mount Gergaji in Papua, close to the site of a 2006 Trigana Air Service aircraft crash, which had killed nine people.[1] Search aircraft located the wreckage at the elevation of 12.000 ft in Mount Gergaji. None of the eleven people on board were found alive.[3]

At the time of the accident, the weather observed by Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in the area was mostly clear, with some clouds in the mountain. The location of the accident was not on the route normally flown by the flight.[3]

Findings by the NTSC later concluded that Flight 514 crashed due to pilot error. The pilot joined Mimika Air on 12 February and due to this short time lacked knowledge about the route. The pilot attempted to fly a direct route to Mulia using GPS, climbing Mount Gergaji without any circling attempts. When the flight entered clouds the pilot became spatially disorientated and lost control of the aircraft. The plane impacted terrain inverted and burst into flames, killing all on board.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Wreckage of crashed plane located in Papua". United Press International. 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  2. ^ Accident description for Fokker F-27 Friendship 400M [sic] A-2703 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-02-13.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "KNKT.". knkt.dephub.go.id. NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY COMMITTEE. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Ten people killed in Papua plane crash". The Jakarta Post. 2009-04-19. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-19.

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