19 Mar 2012

NZ pilot one of three confirmed dead from chopper crash in Indonesia's Papua province

12:14 pm on 19 March 2012

Three people are confirmed to have died in a helicopter crash in Indonesia's Papua province at the weekend.

The victims include a New Zealand pilot, Shri Rama Krishnan, and two employees of the mining company Freeport Indonesia.

Johnny Blades reports

"The six-seater Squirrel aircraft had been flying supplies to Freeport's massive Grasberg gold and copper mine in remote Mimika district when it went missing on Saturday morning. It took a day until the wreckage was located in steep terrain by searchers who confirmed that all three on board died. The New Zealand-based Kershaw Aviation Group says its pilot was very experienced and had been working this route with the company for the past year. The group says it cannot comment on what may have caused the crash but that the aircraft was well-equipped for the high altitudes and rugged terrain."