Friday, August 24, 2012

Missing millionaire Peter John Elliott's wife flies to Indonesia to join search

Peter Elliott, the Perth businessman missing in Borneo, in happier times with wife Lita. 
Source: Supplied

The wife of the WA millionaire businessman missing in a plane crash flew to Indonesia last night to help search for her husband saying: "I have not lost hope."

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency in Jakarta yesterday confirmed Peter John Elliott was one of four people on a Cessna aircraft that lost radio contact while on a mapping survey trip on Borneo Island on Friday morning.

It left from Samarinda the provincial capital of East Kalimantan for a 90-minute flight.

Cuddling their two young sons Roydon, 11, and two-year-old Douglas, Mrs Lita Elliott, 37, said she had to remain strong and confident for the sake of her family.

"I want to remain focused and totally positive," she told The Sunday Times yesterday from their home in Kardinya.

"I have hope and believe he is alive.

"I will be flying to Jakarta in a few hours tonight and then go straight to Kalimantan. My husband's family are on their way here from Melbourne now.

"I am confident we will find him alive. I want to remain positive and do not even want to talk about anything else."

Dr Elliott, 57, is the general manager of Elliott Geophysics International, a Bibra Lake-based company that specialises in geophysics and geology for mineral, oil, coal and groundwater exploration.

Roydon said his father often carried out mining surveys from the air in Indonesia.

"Dad would stay home for one or two months then go to Indonesia for two or three weeks to work, then come home," he said.

"We are all praying he will be OK."

Mrs Elliott said her husband was happy because Friday marked the last day of his training using specialist geophysics equipment.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said a search and rescue mission had been undertaken on Friday, but stopped because of poor light.

An eight-member rescue team was sent to the area and the search resumed yesterday morning.

After the search and rescue mission was temporarily suspended, Dr Elliott's daughter, Amelia Edwina Robinson Elliott, posted a Facebook message yesterday saying wreckage had been found.

"The search and rescue think they've spotted the plane by satellite image and are sending men in, but it's difficult terrain. Fingers crossed," she wrote.

Earlier she had asked people to "please pray for him".

A pilot and two Indonesians are believed to have also been on the plane.

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta said it was aware of the incident and was providing consular assistance to the family.

A small plane missing on the Indonesian island of Borneo had an Australian on board, the federal government has confirmed.

The Cessna aircraft failed to return from a surveying mission in Bontang, Temindung Airport chief official Rajoki Aritonang said last night.

It was chartered by Elliott Geophysics International, a Perth-based surveying company.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it was aware of a plane missing in Samarinda, in the East Kalimantan province.

"We understand an Australian citizen was on board," a spokesman said.

Aritonang said the plane left Samarinda, the provincial capital of East Kalimantan, on Friday morning for a 90-minute flight to survey a coal mining site.

It was carrying the pilot, two other Indonesians and the company's Australian owner.

National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso said an eight-member team was sent to search the area where the plane lost radio contact with the airport.

The DFAT spokesman said a search and rescue operation was cancelled because of poor light and was likely to resume this morning.

The Australian embassy in Jakarta is providing consular assistance.


NTSB Identification: WPR12WA374
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Bontang, Indonesia, Indonesia
Aircraft: PIPER PA31, registration: PK-IWH
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

On August 24, 2012, at 0551 universal coordinated time, a Piper PA-31-350, PK-IWH, operated by PT. Intan Angkasa Air Service under the pertinent civil regulations of Indonesia, collided with Mt. Tundung Mayang, near Bontang, Indonesia, at an elevation of 1,300 feet. The pilot and 3 passengers were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Indonesia. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by the Government of Indonesia. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

National Transportation Safety Committee
Ministry of Transportation Building 3rd Floor
JI. Medan Merdeka Timur No. 5 Jakarta – Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 3517606
Fax: +62 21 3517606

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