Aviastar DHC-6-300 at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in 2012
An Aviastar flight carrying 10 people has gone missing in Eastern Indonesia. In the image, a DHC-6-300 at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in 2012Creative Commons

A passenger plane with 10 people on board reportedly went missing in Indonesia on Friday.

Local media reports said that the Aviastar flight carrying seven passengers including three children was travelling between Masamba and Makassar on the island of Sulawesi. There were three crew members on the flight when it went missing, reports said.

The air traffic control (ATC) lost contact with the small plane--a DHC-6 Twin Otter, operated by Aviastar Mandiri--  30 minutes before it was to land in Makassar. The missing aircraft took off from Masamba at 6.36 am local time.  

According to the Aviation Safety Network, the plane is recorded as "missing, presumed damaged beyond repair".

Aviastar's main operation base is located in Jakarta (CGK) with other operation bases in Palangkaraya (PKY), Balikpapan (BPN), Makassar (UPG), Nabire (NBX) and Denpasar (DPS). The carrier has a fleet of two BAe 146-200 and four DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.

According to The Independent, Indonesia has "a notoriously bad air safety record" with 59 of 63 airlines banned from flying in the European Union airspace.

Live Updates

6.15 PM IST - Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) will start the search and rescue operations only on Saturday morning as it is already dark in the incident region.

6.00 PM IST - The weather conditions in the area where the Twin Otter aircraft  lost contact was reportedly good.

5.45 PM IST - The doomed plane was carrying four adults, one child, two infants, and three crew including the pilot, a co-pilot and an engineer.

5.30 PM IST - Aviastar on its official Twitter account posted the image of the DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft with a caption which says in Indonesian  - "This photo was taken this morning. And perhaps this is the last photo of PK-BRM Aviastar."

5.10 PM IST - The plane was 60 nautical miles (111 KM) from Makassar when it lost contact, Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson JR Barata told MetroTV.

5.00 PM IST - Indonesian Transportation Ministry has launched a search for the aircraft