Indonesia Air Force Chief, Air Marshal, Agus Supriatna, said that an engine malfunction was likely the cause of the crash of an Indonesian military plane on Tuesday, two minutes after leaving the Soewondo airbase in Medan.
He said on Thursday in Jakarta that investigation revealed that after take-off the aircraft experienced trouble because the climb rate remained low.
“This was likely caused by a malfunction in one of the engines. “The aircraft banked to the right and hit an antenna tower.
“This could mean that there was a malfunction with the right engine,’’ he said.
He said 122 people, mostly military personnel and their families were on the plane when it crashed on Tuesday.
The spokeswoman at Medan’s Adam Malik hospital said 142 bodies were brought in from the crash site.
He said it was not clear how many people were killed on the ground.
Suroso a relation of Sec. Cpl. Saryanto, of the Indonesian Air force said his other brother also died in a similar accident involving another Hercules C-130 in 1991.
“Since he was a little boy, Saryanto had always wanted to be an Air Force member, following the footsteps of our brother.
“He saw his brother wearing the uniform and he wanted to wear it too,” he said.
Suroso said the death of Saryanto, the youngest in the family, came just four months after another tragedy, the death of his father.
Critics said the latest accident has renewed attention to Indonesia’s poor aviation safety record and ageing military hardware.
They said the crash came just six months after an AirAsia Indonesia plane en route from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people.
Critics said the three crashes involving the Indonesian military’s C-130 aircraft have killed more than 370 people since 1991.