The Australian plane on the tarmac at t Manado’s Sam Ratulangi airport.Jakarta: Two Australian light-aircraft pilots forced to land by fighter jets because they were violating Indonesian air space have been allowed to fly on to their destination in the Philippines.
Richard Wayne Maclean and Graeme Paul Jacklin flew out of Manado airport at about 10.15am local time (1.15pm AEDT) after receiving the necessary documentation and permission to fly.
“They took off about two minutes ago from Sam Ratulangi airport, continuing their flight to Cebu, Philippines,” said the head of Manado Airport Authority, Chairul Irsyad.
Two Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets commanded by the Indonesia airforce had scrambled on Wednesday afternoon to force the Beechcraft twin-prop plane to the ground after Maclean and Jacklin ignored calls to land.
Fighter jet pilot Major Wanda Suriansyah said that, during the incident he had “locked on” his weapons systems to the plane.
“If there had been a command to shoot, I would immediately have shot it down, but thank God the pilot was apparently scared and decided to land the plane in Manado,” Major Wanda said.
He said a number of requests to land had been made, but, “some Australians are stubborn so they ignored the request”.
The Australian pilots subsequently secured permission from the foreign affairs department, the airforce and the transportation ministry to continue their flight.
With Amilia Rosa
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.