‘Missing copter showed sharp drop in altitude’

IPOH: The helicopter that went missing between Perak’s Bidor and Langkap had recorded a sharp drop in altitude in less than a minute, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

In a statement yesterday, CAAM CEO Datuk Capt Chester Voo said the radar system in the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre (KLATCC) detected a drastic loss in altitude, and the on-duty air traffic control officer attempted to contact the pilot.

“However, there was no distress call made. Review of the radar readings indicated a large loss of altitude in less than one minute,” said Capt Voo, who added that the Kuala Lumpur Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre in KLATCC was immediately activated to determine the location of the helicopter.

Helicopters of the Royal Malaysian Air Force and Royal Malaysia Police were at the last-known location to conduct search and rescue efforts (SAR).

Operated by Heli Outpost Sdn Bhd, the helicopter in question is a Eurocopter EC120B with the registration marking of N409HH.

Capt Voo said the helicopter, with no other passengers, was flying from Subang to here.

The helicopter, scheduled to land at the Sultan Azlan Shah airport here at 12.37pm, lost radio contact with KLATCC at 12.16pm yesterday after taking off from Subang at 11.37am.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said all efforts are being made to locate the missing aircraft, with all available assets deployed for the search and rescue mission.

“I wish our personnel good luck in the search, and pray for the best,” he told the media after a visit to the Ipoh railway station here yesterday.

Perak police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri later told a press conference that the SAR would resume at 8am today.

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