RMAF Beechcraft crash not due to technical problems

JUNE MOH


KUALA LUMPUR: The cause of the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Beechcraft B200T air crash at the Butterworth airbase last year was not due technical problems, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Mohd Johari Baharum (BN-Kubang Pasu) said the accident, which killed the pilot and injured three officers, has been classified as a Training Hazard.

“The board of inquiry concluded that the accident occurred while the trainee co-pilot was performing an Asymmetric Circuit Flight (simulating one engine not functioning). This is compulsory training for all RMAF pilots while undergoing aircraft transition courses,” he told the House.

He said, following the crash, RMAF sent a test pilot to a simulator centre in Texas, the United States to conduct an assessment on the crash.

“The results of the assessment showed no technical problems and the Beechcraft B200T is allowed to resume operations,” he said.

He said the injured officers received treatment.

“Lt Hamdi Hanifi only suffered minor cuts to his forehead and is back at work. Captain Wai Lik and Sergeant Mohd Sofi Azizan sustained major injuries. They are in stable condition and have been granted sick leave,” he said.

Asked by Ahmad Baihaki Atiqullah (Pas-Kubang Kerian) on steps the government had taken to reduce the risk of similar accidents from happening again, Johari said accidents are caused by many factors, including human error, technical difficulties and weather.

“When an air crash happens, we will form a committee to investigate the cause and take action to ensure similar incidents will not happen again.

“The age of a helicopter is not important, its maintenance is crucial. The Nuri helicopter, for example, has been in service for a long time and the fleet is still in use because we have maintained it properly,” he said.