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Accident description
Last updated: 28 April 2017
Date:Sunday 2 August 2009
Time:ca 11:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:Merpati Nusantara Airlines
Registration: PK-NVC
C/n / msn: 626
First flight: 1979-05-30 (30 years 2 months)
Total airframe hrs:27336
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Total:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 15
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:42 km (26.3 mls) N of Oksibil Airport (OKL) (   Indonesia)
Crash site elevation: 2834 m (9298 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Jayapura-Sentani Airport (DJJ/WAJJ), Indonesia
Destination airport:Oksibil Airport (OKL/WAJO), Indonesia
A Merpati Nusantara Airlines DHC-6 Twin Otter passenger plane was destroyed when it flew into the side of a mountain during a domestic flight from Jayapura (DJJ) to Oksibil Airport (OKL). Merpati Flight MZ9760D took off at 10:15 with an estimated time of arrival at Oksibil of 11:05. The pilots were operating under visual flight rules (VFR) procedures. This required them to remain clear of cloud. Ten minutes before impact the pilot in command mentioned climbing to 10,000 feet, and stated "if we cannot go visual I will turn left". The cockpit conversations did not exhibit any signs of stress or concern until two minutes before the impact, when the copilot mentioned haze and asked the captain if he could see. Fifty seconds before impact, the copilot expressed further concern and asked about the captain's intentions, and the captain said "climb, to the left". Forty-two seconds before impact the copilot asked if it was safe on the left.
The copilot became increasingly uncertain about the safety of the flight, specifically mentioning visibility and speed. From the recorded sounds, it is apparent that 13 seconds before impact, engine power was increased symmetrically to a high power setting. The Twin Otter struck the side of a mountain at an elevation of 9300 feet.
The wreckage was located August 4 with some difficulty because the ELT was unserviceable.

Probable Cause:

CAUSES: "The pilots did not maintain visual flight procedures when flying below lowest safe altitude, and the aircraft was flown into cloud in the vicinity of gap north west of Oksibil. The accident was consistent with controlled flight into terrain."

Accident investigation:
investigating agency: National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) - Indonesia
status: Final
number: KNKT.
released:21 April 2010
duration: 262 days (9 months)
download report: Aircraft Accident Investigation Report PT. Merpati Nusantara Airline De Haviland DHC6 Twin Otter; PK-NVC Near Ambisil / (NTSC KNKT.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» SKYbrary 
» Departemen Perhubungan news releases
» Inilah Nama Penumpang dan Awak Merpati yang Hilang di Papua (Kompas, 2-8-2009)
» All 15 On Crashed Papua Plane Are Dead: Airline Director (Jakarta Globe, 5-8-2009)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSC issued 4 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations


photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 PK-NVC
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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
30 MAY 1979 PH-SAY de Havilland Canada first flight
21 JUN 1979 PH-SAY Schreiner Airways delivered
21 AUG 1984 N5467X Crown Air
23 OCT 1986 PH-SAY Schreiner Airways registered
19 DEC 1986 9M-PEG Pelangi Air
APR 1990 9M-BMM Boskym Udara
10 NOV 2006 PK-NVC Merpati Nusantara Airlines registered

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Jayapura-Sentani Airport to Oksibil Airport as the crow flies is 258 km (161 miles).

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DHC-6 Twin Otter

  • 257th loss
  • 169th fatal accident
  • 930+ built
  • 31st worst accident (at the time)
  • 34th worst accident (currently)
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  • 42nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 48th worst accident (currently)
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