JELEBU (Bernama): The airstrip built on private land in Kuala Klawang here has not received approval to conduct flight operations, says Transport Ministry Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) chief inspector Capt Yahaya Abdul Rahman.
He said Wednesday (July 3) that even though the construction of an airstrip on private land is allowed, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) should be informed for approval, including the safety aspects.
"This is to ensure monitoring is carried out by the authorities on the suitability of the location and its proximity to public residences.
"Construction of airstrips on private land is allowed but it has to comply with the stipulated standard operating procedure (SOP).
"This includes the distance of the runway from public areas so as not to endanger the local residents. This is the first time we are visiting the airstrip and we are calling on CAAM to conduct safety inspection,” he told reporters after a visit to the location of a light aircraft crash on Saturday (June 29) here.
On June 29, local media reported a light aircraft believed to be a glider was found in a forested area in Purun, near Titi here, after crashing at about 3.30 pm in the evening.
It was reported there were two male victims - American Les Zsort Wrosmarty, 60, and Siow Moon Yoew, 56, a local - who were being treated at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.
However, police investigations found the aircraft the victims were in was a Tecnam light aircraft and not a glider as reported earlier.
Commenting further, Yahaya said initial investigations of the accident found the light aircraft crashed following a windshear that caused the pilot to lose control.
He said the aircraft was bought by the US citizen for private flying and had flown according to the law.
Apart from that, he said the bureau had also taken statements from five individuals, including the two victims, to assist investigations.
Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry in a statement here Wednesday said the findings and further investigation required to be carried out on the airstrip suitability, crew proficiency, activation of search-and-rescue (SAR) and availability of Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication coverage.
"Upon consultation with CAAM, they had no knowledge on the suitability of the airstrip. CAAM has not given any form of certification for an aerodrome and the flying activities, which were mainly in private capacity.
"Further investigations will be carried out to establish the safety of the airspace for low-flying aircraft passing through the area.
"The pilot is an American national and a holder of a US Federal Aviation Administration licence certified for aerobatic flying. He is a member of the Air Adventure Flying Club.
"Currently, he is also the holder of Malaysian Private Pilot licence number 7872 expiring on April 22, 2020. His last licence proficiency check was done on April 23, 2019, on an aircraft with the registration 9M-EEC,” the ministry said, adding that there was no distress call by the crew during the crash.
It said the aircraft crashed in a remote area with extensive impact and there was no activation of the Emergency Locator Transmitter to alert SAR or indication to ATC that the aircraft was in distress. - Bernama