PUTRAJAYA — May 14, 2015: A preliminary report cites damage to a stabiliser as the cause of the crash of a helicopter in Semenyih that killed six people on April 4.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told a press conference here today that the left fenestron horizontal stabiliser apparently suffered damage when the helicopter landed at a school in Muadzam Shah, Pahang, while on the way from Pekan to Subang.
An investigation and examination at the landing point showed that the left wheel had sunk into the soft earth at the football field of Sekolah Kebangsaan Ladang Kota Bahagia, Rompin.
The helicopter had tilted as much as 13 degrees after the wheel sank 20 inches into the earth during the landing.
“This helicopter has two stabilisers, one on the left and the other on the right, at its tail. The landing probably damaged the left fenestron horizontal stabiliser and the vertical fin.
“There were also traces of excess fluid leak where the left wheel had sunk into the earth and on the grass about 10 metres in front of the landing spot,” said Liow.
Besides then Rompin member of parliament Tan Sri Dr. Jamaluddin Jarjis, the crash killed the principal private
secretary to the prime minister Datuk Azlin Alias, businessman Datuk Tan Huat Seang, Jamaluddin’s bodyguard Corporal Razkan Seran, pilot Captain Clifford Fournier and Aidana Baizieva, an acquaintance of the pilot.
They were on their way home after attending a wedding reception in Pekan.
Liow said the left stabiliser fin of the helicopter had yet to be found and he called on the people of Kampung Sungai Pening in Semenyih to contact his ministry immediately if they found it.
The stabiliser could provide the clue if the damage was caused by the impact upon landing or a mechanical fault.
The report stated that the audio record showed that the pilot was concerned over the leak of the hydraulic fluid when the helicopter took off from the school field.
“We also know that between 4.31 pm and 4.52 pm, the pilot did not make any distress call. Nevertheless, another helicopter that had flown nearby radioed to say that the ill-fated helicopter suffered a sharp drop and crashed,” he said.
The minister gave the assurance that the Air Accident Investigation Bureau would continue with the probe to determine the cause of the sharp drop and all relevant factors that resulted in the crash.
The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) would also scrutinise the recommendations contained in the report.
These include a review on the procedures for single pilot helicopter operations to facilitate passenger embarkation or disembarkation with the engine and main rotor running.
Among other recommendations are for the DCA to ensure that private category operators observe flight operations limitations in their respective category, and determine the necessity for flight manifest for all private flights.
At the moment there is no requirement for private helicopters to inform air traffic control on the route and destination of landing points before a flight commences.
Liow agreed with a suggestion that the pilot may have breached his duty on safety procedure standards, failing to inspect the aircraft when something unusual happened.
Asked about the woman passenger, he said there was no indication she was handling the helicopter at any time. — Bernama