TAPAH, Sept 11 — The search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate a helicopter with just a pilot on board that lost contact with the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre (KLATCC) before being reported missing in the Bidor area, has been suspended this evening due to unfavourable weather condition.
Perak police chief Datuk Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri said the operation would resume at 8 am tomorrow.
He said for the purpose of SAR efforts and monitoring the progress, an operations room was activated at the Bidor police station with a total strength of 11 officers and 68 personnel consisting of police including its air units and General Operations Force, Fire and Rescue Department as well as the Forestry Department.
“A helicopter was dispatched at 4 pm to organise a search mission in the lower Perak border area.
“We received information from people hearing an explosion at Jeram Mengkuang and some said a helicopter was flying low in the Kampung Kenangan area so the incident command centre will be set up tomorrow morning in the search locations.
“Thus far, we are concentrating on the coordinates provided, in the Chikus Forest Reserve, and areas with the information provided by the public. The SAR team will narrow down the search areas tomorrow,” he said at a press conference at the Bidor police station here.
He said the victim’s identity has yet to be ascertained but based on information from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAM), only one pilot was involved and there were no passengers.
It is understood that the pilot is a foreigner and that the aircraft is owned by an individual with the title of Datuk.
Earlier today, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, at a press conference, said that the Eurocopter aircraft, privately owned, lost contact at approximately 12.16 pm and the aircraft’s last known location was a forest area near Bidor.
The helicopter was scheduled to land at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here at 12.37 pm after departing from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang, at 11.37 am. — Bernama