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No distress call before chopper crashed

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PUTRAJAYA — April 5, 2015: The ill-fated helicopter in Semenyih on Saturday did not make any distress call and followed the approved flight path.

According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, the air traffic control (ATC) did not record any conversation with the pilot and that was normal.

“It is normal (for a helicopter) to fly after receiving clearance,” he told a news conference here today after the helicopter’s black box was handed to the ministry.

“We also checked whether there was a mayday or distress call but did not find any,” he said.

The aircaft’s approved flight path was from Kuantan, Pekan, Muadzam Shah, Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Klawang, the Mines, Petaling Jaya and to Subang.

All six on board — Rompin member of parliament Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis; Datuk Azlin Alias, the principal private secretary of the prime minister; pilot Clifford William Fournier Jr.; operations assistant Aidana Baizieva; businesman Datuk Tan Huat Seang and Jamaluddin’s bodyguard Razakan B. Seran — were killed

Fournier held a valid licence rated for that type of aircraft since 2012.

The aircraft had a valid certificate of airworthiness under private category, which was last renewed on February 13 this year and valid until Feb. 8 next year.

Manufactured by Airbus Helicopters, formely known as Eurocopter France, the aircraft was made in 1990 and was 25 years as of this month, said Liow.

Maintenance was carried out by Airbus Helicopters Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and the last recorded inspection was on last January 29 while the flight test was conducted on Feb. 9.

Liow said the ministry had set up an investigation team headed by Datuk Yahya Abdul Rahman, a very experienced investigator with more than 20 years’ experience in helicopter accident investigations.

The team would have four members while an accredited representative from France would also be invited as the country was the state of design and manufacturer of the aircraft and engine.

The black box that was retrieved today would be sent to the Air Accident Investigation Bureau in Farnborough, United Kingdom. — Bernama

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