Final flight

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By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
THE Papua New Guinea pilot who died in a plane crash on Saturday in Indonesia had a month left in his contract with an Indonesia-based airline, it has been revealed.
PNG Consul-General Colonel Jeffrey Wiri, who is based in Indonesia, told The National that Captain Leslie Sefuve’s permit to fly with Dimonim Air was to expire on Sept 10.
It is understood that Sefuve, from Kainantu district in Eastern Highlands, had been working for the airline for less than two years.
The Twin Otter aircraft had left Tanah Merah airport at about 1.42pm on Saturday on what should have been a 42-minute trip to Oksibil. Captain Sefuve had contacted the control tower in Oksibil 11 minutes before arriving. Contact was lost after that call.
The wreckage was discovered by locals on Sunday morning.
Sefuve, his Indonesian co-pilot and six passengers died. The lone survivor is a 12-year-old boy who is recovering at a Jayapura hospital.
Wiri said Sefuve’s wife and a fellow pilot were expected to arrive in Jayapura today to take his body home.
“We are planning to move his body to Vanimo in West Sepik on (tomorrow),” Wiri said. “Then we will move the body to Port Moresby on Thursday. Our office in Jayapura is coordinating the repatriation of the body.”
He said the late pilot’s relatives wanted the body to be in Port Moresby for a few days before his final journey home to Henganofi.
“Due to bad weather in Oksibil, the bodies retrieved from the crash site and brought to Oksibil airport are yet to be brought down to Jayapura,” Wiri said.
Oksibil airport is in Papua province near the PNG-Indonesia border, west of the Ok Tedi Mine in Western.

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