LUMUT, April 23 — The M503-3 Maritime Operations Helicopter (HOM) that was involved in a crash this morning was used for the first time in the flyby for the 90th Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) Anniversary parade.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin said the Squadron 503 helicopter was based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah since being first used in 2021.

"We flew it specially from Kota Kinabalu to participate in the rehearsal of the 90th TLDM Anniversary Parade held here while the other helicopter, the Fennec M502-6 is based here and has participated in the parade three times since its operation in 2003,” he said in a media conference here today, together with Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Mohamad Ab Rahman and Deputy Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Datuk Zulhelmy Ithnain.

He said that there were seven people onboard the HOM helicopter and three on the Fennec when the collision happened.

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"Seven aircraft were involved in the morning rehearsal, four Fennec helicopters, two HOM helicopters and one Super Lynx, and rehearsals have been held for four days.

"The HOM helicopter crashed in the TLDM Stadium area while the Fennec came down at the swimming pool area next to the stadium,” he said, adding that the victims were between 26 to 41.

He also said at an investigation board to look into the incident has been set up by the TLDM, with assistance from the Royal Malaysian Airforce and the Directorate General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA). — Bernama

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