Monday, June 5, 2017

Eurocopter AS 350B3e Ecureuil, RP-C6828, Skyline Aviation: Fatal accident occurred May 05, 2016 in Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia



KUALA LUMPUR: The helicopter crash in Sarawak that killed six people last year, including two politicians and a senior civil servant, was due to bad weather and the pilot's unfamiliarity with local terrain.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the crash investigation has been completed and the report will be available on the ministry's website soon.

"The main cause was the weather, the second cause was the pilot who was unfamiliar with the local terrain," Liow told reporters after attending the launch of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College's first history booklet at the campus here on Monday.

"There was a storm and the pilot flew into it following the GPS," he said.

Liow was referring to the tragedy on May 5 last year, where an AS350 helicopter carrying five passengers and a pilot crashed near Batang Lupar, Sarawak, while heading from Betong to Kuching.

Among those who perished were Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Noriah Kasnon, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad and Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai.

Also killed were Noriah’s husband Asmuni Abdullah, her bodyguard Ahmad Sobri Harun and Filipino pilot Captain Rudolf Rex Ragas.

Liow said the pilot could have turned around or taken a different route if he was familiar with the local terrain.

He said the Department of Civil Aviation had recommended that foreign pilots take a compulsory course to familiarise themselves with the local weather and terrain.

"Any company, agency or individual that wants to hire foreign pilots must ensure the pilots enrol in this course before they can fly. It's a compulsory requirement now," said Liow.

Liow also said he had ordered an investigation into the crash-landing of a light aircraft in Johor Baru on Sunday morning.

He said it was fortunate there was no casualty and it was a training flight but such incidents could endanger others.

The Piper PA28, operated by a training pilot and carrying three people, crash-landed on the site of an overpass being built on the Nusajaya highway.

Original article can be found here: http://www.thestar.com.my

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