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Tawalo, Lutu start final journey home

08:45 Thu Mar 08, 2018

Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Elenoa Turagaiviu

The Vanua of Macuata this morning traditionally handed over the bodies of Flight Instructor Iliesa Tawalo and Trainee Pilot Merelesita Lutu to their families at the Labasa Airport.

It was an emotional affair, attended by members of the disciplined forces who were part of the search and rescue mission, government officials, the St Joseph’s OG Association in Labasa, families and friends of the two victims, as well as the public.

Commissioner Northern, Jovesa Vocea, says the Tui Macuata saw it fit to send off the bodies’ traditionally to show Fiji that the Vanua of Macuata is also mourning.

Tawalo’s casket was carried by the Police Rescue Team while Lutu’s casket was carried by the Military Rescue Team.

Lutu’s casket will be offloaded at the Nausori airport while Tawalo will continue his last flight home to Nadi.

Meanwhile, the Cessna 172 training aircraft that belonged to the Pacific Flying School lost communication with the Airports Fiji Tower at 12.30pm last Monday.

On board, the flight was Tawalo and Lutu as well as Kalara Derederenalagi.

Derenalagi was dropped off in Labasa before Tawalo and Lutu continued their journey to Savusavu.

However, due to the bad weather, they were unable to land in Savusavu and were returning to Labasa when they reportedly lost communication with the air control tower.

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