Pilot of Indonesia plane looked 'dishevelled' before boarding doomed flight that killed 62, his family reveal
THE pilot of a doomed Indonesian plane that crashed killing all on board left home complaining he looked dishevelled, a family member has revealed.
The Boeing 737 carrying 62 passengers and crew came down just minutes after take-off and it’s now believed the aircraft was still one piece when it hit the water.
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Sriwijaya Air jet had left the capital Jakarta's main airport on a domestic flight to Pontianak on Borneo, 460 miles away before it disappeared from radar screens.
Rescuers are today continuing with the grim task of identifying bodies and sifting through wreckage and personal belongings recovered from the sea.
The Indonesian navy has released footage of divers searching through the wreckage as the hunt resumes for black box flight recorders that will help investigators piece together what happened.
In charge of the aircraft was Captain Afwan, a 54-year-old former air force pilot and dad-of-three, who like many Indonesians only has one name.
Before leaving for the airport he complained that "his shirt hadn't been ironed, when usually he is really neat", his nephew Ferza Mahardhika told the BBC.
The captain also apologised to his three children for having to leave them again.
Family and colleagues said the pilot was devout Muslim was eager to help people in his neighbourhood in the West Java town of Bogor.
"He was a very good man. He often gave advice, wise advice. He was a prominent figure in his neighbourhood and was well-known for his kindness," said his nephew .
"I'm devastated and can't believe that this is happening. Please pray for uncle and our family," he added.
His profile picture on social media is a cartoon of Superman praying, with the words "it doesn't matter how high you fly, you will never reach heaven if you don't pray".
Meanwhile an investigator with Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said the Sriwijaya Air jet possibly broke apart when it hit waters based on debris found so far.
“We don't know for sure, but if we look at the debris, they're scattered in an area that is not too wide,” Nurcahyo Utomo said on Monday.
“It possibly ruptured when it hit waters because if it had exploded midair, the debris would be distributed more widely.”
Rescuers have so far found one of the jet's turbines, pieces of the plane's tail, the rim of a wheel and an emergency chute, as well as clothing and personal belongings from passengers.
Flight SJ 182 had 12 crew and 50 passengers – including 10 children – on board, who were all Indonesians.
The heartbreaking final message of a mum on board the doomed Indonesian flight with her children before it crashed into the sea has been revealed.
Rathi Windania posted pictures of three laughing children before boarding the Boeing 737 that crashed into the sea carrying 62 passengers and crew members just minutes after takeoff.
So far 40 DNA samples from the relatives of victims have been taken and are being used with other medical records to help with identification, officials said.
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