Missing copter: No delay in issuing search and rescue alert, says DCA


  • Nation
  • Friday, 06 May 2016

KUCHING: Despite a three-hour gap, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said there were no delays in issuing the search and rescue alert to find the missing AS350 helicopter.

DCA director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (pic) said the department had to go through a set of procedures before issuing such an alert.

The helicopter, which carried Datuk Noriah Kasnon and five others, lost contact with the control tower at 4.28pm, Thursday.

Azharuddin said the search and rescue alert was issued at 7.26pm, after exhausting all efforts to contact the helicopter.

“Around 4.15pm, they had contacted the control tower. Before they reached Simunjan, the tower tried to establish contact at 4.28pm but no response.

“Then we made several attempts to contact the aircraft at 4.29pm and 4.36pm but still no response,” he told a press conference at DCA office here, Friday.

Azharuddin said four helicopters flying nearby the AS350 also attempted to establish contact, but were unable to get any response.

Subsequently, he said, DCA alerted Hornbill Skyways, which chartered the helicopter.

“At 4.50pm, we put up the alert phase, but the feedback has been negative. Then we declared the search and rescue alert at 7.26pm.

“There are no delays because in between, we contacted various parties including Hornbill Skyways. We are doing our part to contact the parties concerned,” he said.

Azharuddin urged the public not to speculate how the incident occurred as the matter is still being investigated.

He added that the families of all those on board have already been informed.

“We have a team that handles the family matters but please respect their privacy.

“Please respect their hardship in these times,” he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak revealed that debris believed to be from the missing AS350 helicopter was found at 9.50am.

The debris comprised a rotor blade, a floatation device, part of a helicopter wall, a door and a seat.

Najib said the debris was found near Batang Lupar.

The helicopter carrying six people, including the Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister, her husband Asmuni Abdullah and four others, had left Betong at 4.12pm on Thursday and was headed to Kuching.

The others reported to be in the helicopter were ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai; Kuala Kangsar MP and Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad; Noriah’s bodyguard Ahmad Sobri; and Capt Rudolf Rex Ragas.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Nation

Uptick in Covid-19 cases should be expected over the next few days with more self-testing being done, deputy Health DG
Bung Moktar: Govt should absorb contract doctors to permanent posts if allocation available
Over 200,000 retail, distribution workers registered for vaccination under RiVAC, says Domestic Trade Minister
Covid-19: Unnecessary NPRA red-tape delayed vaccine procurement, says Saifuddin Nasution
Upcoming Johor assembly to focus on vaccination, welfare issues, says rep
Negri's tourism industry to get one-off cash aid from state govt, says MB
Another four Covid-19 cases in Parliament, says Speaker
Negri Sembilan wants more private clinics to join national Covid-19 immunisation drive
Covid-19: Record daily high of 17,405 cases bring total to 1,061,476
AIU chancellor Muhammad Yunus receives Olympic Laurel

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers