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Pilot error led to fatal Semenyih copter crash

Former minister Jamaluddin was one of those killed in the crash Also photo of the site where part of wreckage was found.

Former minister Jamaluddin was one of those killed in the crash Also photo of the site where part of wreckage was found.

Syndicated News
Written by Syndicated News

All six on board killed

KUALA LUMPUR — September 13, 2016: The Transport Ministry’s final report on the helicopter crash in Semenyih on April 4 last year which killed six people has indicated pilot error.

The report points to the failure of Captain Clifford Fournier to conduct a detailed damage assessment of the Dauphin 9M-IGB after an unplanned landing at an open field.

The report by the ministry’s Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) revealed that the rough landing at the open field at Sekolah Kebangsaan Ladang Kota Bahagia had caused the helicopter’s left main landing gear to sink into
loose soil.

The pilot failed to conduct a detailed damage assessment of the left main landing gear, knowing the presence of excessive oil leak and damage to other parts of the helicopter.

The vertical fin attached to the LH horizontal stabiliser contacted the soil and subsequently fractured the inboard root of the stabiliser.

The pilot was seen by a witness to have exited the helicopter and accompanied the passengers clear of the main rotor area. However, he did not carry out any inspection of the helicopter.

The final report was uploaded onto the ministry’s website (www.mot.gov.my) on Sept. 9.

The crash killed Rompin Member of Parliament Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis; principal private secretary to the prime minister Datuk Azlin Alias; businessman Datuk Tan Huat Seang; Jamaluddin’s bodyguard Corporal Razkan Seran; the pilot’s acquaintance Aidana Baizieva and Fournier.

They were on their way home after attending a wedding reception in Pekan.

According to the report, other factors which contributed to the accident were the descending high cruising speed, compounded with landing gears down had aerodynamically put excessive loads on the fractured left horizontal stabiliser.

“Passenger intervention to the pilot to return home on several occasions could have created peer pressure on the pilot to rush to fly home,” it said.

The solid state combination cockpit voice and flight data recorder information and inspection of the last landing area before the accident revealed that the left landing gear had sunk to approximately 20 inches into the soft ground, causing the helicopter to tilt more than 13 degrees to the left.

The stabiliser’s vertical fin and the tail section below the tail rotor fenestron had impacted the ground, causing some damage to the inboard root of the stabiliser.

The report further found that there was also evidence of excessive fluid leakage in the sink hole made by the left landing gear, as well as on the grass about 10 metres forward of the landing point.

The fluid could have originated from the landing gear oleo strut and hydraulic brake system. However, no hydraulic warning was triggered during the check performed by the pilot before taking off.

At the end of the recording, as the helicopter was flying under auto pilot, the pitch of the helicopter unexpectedly and significantly decreased. The helicopter rapidly went beyond the flight envelop limits without any pilot input.

The report further mentioned that the crew was properly licensed and proficient to fly the helicopter.

The helicopter maintenance contract with Airbus Helicopters was properly carried out as per the maintenance programme and there was no anomaly in the maintenance documents.

A preliminary report on the cause of the crash was released on May 14 last year, revealing the damage to the stabiliser as the cause. — Bernama

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