24 Nov 2011

NZ pilot hurt in remote Papua plane crash

6:55 am on 24 November 2011

Officials in Indonesia's remote Papua region say a New Zealander was critically injured when the small plane he was piloting crashed into a mountainside.

They say the crash happened on Wednesday after an attempt to land the Cessna aircraft was aborted when a villager was spotted wandering onto the airstrip.

The aircraft flew away from the Paniai airstrip and crashed into a mountain some 11 kilometres away.

The New Zealander was rescued and taken to hospital but his Spanish co-pilot was killed.

The plane, operated by Susi Air, had been carrying food supplies to remote villages.

In September, an Australian and a Slovak pilot were killed when a plane owned by the same company crashed.

Like most airstrips in the remote area, the Paniai runway is not protected by a fence and is used by locals taking shortcuts and sometimes by children playing football.