BY MARK RALSTON, Associated Press The pilot of an Airbus A321 airliner that crashed in western Indonesia has died after being ejected from the plane, a government official said on Friday.
The plane crashed near a resort in Sulawesi province early Friday.
The crash happened during an early morning departure flight from Jakarta.
Indonesia’s Civil Aviation Ministry said the pilot and co-pilot of the A321, who were Indonesian, died in the crash.
The ministry said it would investigate the cause.
The Indonesian government has been grappling with the lack of air traffic control in the Southeast Asian nation of 1.3 billion people.
An aircraft carrier, called the Suwagong, was due to arrive in the country late Friday, the airline said in a statement.
Indonesia’s state-run news agency, Yeni Safak, said the aircraft, owned by Indonesia AirAsia, had arrived in Jakarta from Jakarta at around 1 a.m.
The Suwags are one of Indonesia’s biggest airlines, and they operate mainly in Indonesia’s largest cities.