This Air Traffic Controller Died After Guiding A Plane To Safety During The Earthquake In Indonesia

"During the last phase of my takeoff, he was still on that tower waiting for me to go up," the pilot of the plane told BuzzFeed News. "That's why I call him my guardian angel."

An air traffic controller has died after staying in the control tower to guide a passenger plane to safety during the earthquake in Indonesia last week.

Anthonius Gunawan Agung made sure that the plane had safely taken off before he jumped from the crumbling control tower at Palu Airport.

The pilot of the plane, Ricoseta Mafella, told BuzzFeed News that he had no idea that his flight had taken off the exact minute the earthquake struck.

Mafella said that it was only after the plane was airborne that he noticed giant waves forming on the shore.

After he landed, Mafella saw the news and asked in a group chat of air traffic controllers and pilots why he hadn't received a response from air traffic control.

"The job of air traffic control is to make sure the aircraft is safe on the runway," Mafella said.

Telah wafat saat menjalankan tugasnya sebagai personel layanan navigasi penerbangan, Saudara Anthonius Gunawan Agung, Air Traffic Controller (ATC) AirNav Indonesia Cabang Palu pada Sabtu (29/09). #RIPAgung #DoaUntukSulteng #PrayforDonggala #PrayforPalu

"He's the only guy I can talk to. If I need assistance or backup during takeoff, he's the only one who can visually see the plane from the outside," the pilot said.

"In this difficult time, during the split seconds of decisions, he waited for me until I was safe before he jumped. That's why I call him my guardian angel."

Mafella then shared a video he shot of the tsunami at around 1,500 feet to his Instagram, along with a photo of Agung with the following caption:

People called Agung a hero.

And started paying tribute.

My heart breaks. Thank you, Anthonius Gunawan Agung. Thank you.

A heroic act. Safe flight to Heaven, Agung. Rest In Peace. 🙏🏽

#RIPAgung. A true hero. Sometimes a hero doesn't need to wear a cape... "That Others May Live".

Agung has since been posthumously promoted two levels by Air Navigation Indonesia.

BuzzFeed News has contacted Air Navigation Indonesia for comment.

Skip to footer