Hornbill Unleashed

June 6, 2017

Sebuyau chopper mishap due to bad weather and pilot’s unfamiliarity with area, says Liow

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

File picture shows search and rescue personnel holding up debris believed to be from the helicopter that crashed near Sebuyau on May 5, 2016. ― Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Fire and Rescue DepartmentThe Eurocopter AS350 mishap in Batang Lupar, near Sebuyau, Sarawak in May last year was caused by bad weather and a pilot who was not familiar with the area, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said this view was forwarded by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau in its final report on the mishap which would be uploaded on the ministry’s website at (www.mot.gov.my) soon.

He said the final report which had been tabled in the Cabinet last month, found that when the mishap took place the helicopter had entered an area lashed by storm and heavy rain. “We conducted an investigation and found that the helicopter had entered a storm area and at that moment the weather report from the Meteorological Department had also indicated that the mishap area was an area with heavy rain.

“The mishap did not involve technical problems but the weather and the pilot. Those familiar with the route might have avoided it but the pilot was from abroad and was not well-versed with the condition here, so he followed the GPS and it could have caused the crash,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the launching of the book ‘The History Of The Setting Up Of Kolej Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman in Setapak here today.

Liow said the final report also recommended that any company, individual or agency using foreign pilots must ensure they undergo a special local helicopter flight course before being allowed to fly the aircraft.

“The course is to enable foreign pilots to familiarise themselves with the environment, weather and surrounding conditions in the country before they are allowed to fly any helicopter here,” he said.

On May 5, last year, an aircraft crashed in Batang Lupar killing six passengers including the Filipino pilot Captain Rudolf Rex Ragas, Plantation Industries and Commodities deputy Minister Tan Sri Noriah Kasnon and Kuala Kangsar Member of Parliament Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad.

On the Piper PA28 light aircraft which crashed on the Nusajaya Pulai Highway, Johor yesterday, Liow said the preliminary report on the incident would be issued in a month.

Source : The Malay Mail Online by Bernama


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