The DHC-6 Twin Otter plane lost contact 11 minutes after taking off in good weather yesterday  from Masamba in South Sulawesi province, said Transportation Ministry spokesman Julius Barata. No distress signal was received.
    
The plane, owned by the private Aviastar Mandiri airline, was headed for Makassar, the   provincial capital. It was carrying three crew members and seven passengers, including
three children, Barata said.
    
Four aircraft were deployed to search for the missing plane, said Petrus Budi Prasetyo, commercial general manager for the airline.
    
"We have dispatched a Twin Otter and a helicopter to comb the area, along with an aircraft each from the military and police," Petrus said. "But we have not yet received any information from the scene."
    
Ahmad Munir, head of the airport authority in Makassar, said satellite data showed the aircraft's last known position was about 32 kilometers (20 miles) from Masamba.

 

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