PUTRAJAYA, March 29 — There were no elements of sabotage in the recent helicopter crashes in the country, said Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) chief executive officer Chester Voo.
The mishaps were due to weather or maintenance issues, he told the media after conducting a briefing for 20 helicopter operators here today.
“Currently, there is nothing indicating sabotage usually it was due to weather or maintenance (issues) because these helicopters are like cars and require constant maintenance,” he said.
Regarding today’s briefing, Voo said CAAM was providing advice and reminders about the importance of helicopter maintenance and operation, in the wake of three accidents involving helicopters in the last six months.
On March 24, two people were injured and three others escaped unhurt when the Airbus AS350 B3 helicopter they were travelling in crashed at Sultan Abdul Aziz Airport in Subang.
On November 8 last year, a 9M-HCA and a 9M-HCB collided in midair at Taman Melawati on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, killing former naval officer Mohamed Sabri Baharom, 56, and businessman Mohd Irfan Fikri Mohamed Rai, 41.
Former Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, 66, and passenger Tan Chai Eian, 51, however, were unhurt after conducting an emergency landing at a nearby open area.
On January 1, two men suffered light injuries when their light helicopter crashed in an empty field at the Klang Free Trade Zone in Pulau Indah, Klang.
Regarding the helicopter crash at Sultan Abdul Aziz Airport in Subang, Voo said the Transport Ministry’s Air Accident Bureau would be identifying the cause of the Airbus AS350 B3 helicopter crash.
“The investigation will be conducted by the bureau and after the investigation report is released, CAAM will go through it and provide recommendations to industry players on the improvements that need to be made. The real cause of the incident has yet to be identified,” he said. — Bernama