IPOH: The pilot of the helicopter that crashed in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands on Wednesday (Oct 26), said he applied all his skills to ensure passenger safety when he made an emergency landing.
Captain Fedzrol Norazam, 43, said he tried to find a safe landing spot in the incident when a sudden strong wind at mid-day made it difficult to control the helicopter until it moved closer to the hilly area.
"We used the regular route on the return journey from Gua Musang, however, rainy weather near Kampung Raja (Cameron Highlands) forced me to divert to an area before Brinchang, where it was not raining and has another helicopter route.
"When I passed this area, a strange thing happened...the wind pushed the helicopter higher and I felt something was wrong. I tried to control it (helicopter) as best I could, but I did not tell the passengers so as not to cause panic.
"I tried to turn around but the wind continued to push the helicopter higher and when we were at an altitude of 5,000 feet it was difficult to go down and unstable even after using the full engine throttle," he said.
He recounted the anxious moments to reporters after receiving a visit from Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB) here on Thursday (Oct 27).
Yesterday at 1.20pm, police received informed from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) tower about a helicopter crashing at the Perak-Pahang border involving Fedzrol and five Health Ministry staff from the Flying Doctor Unit (PDU), Kinta district health office (PKD).
The five are medical officer Munirah Abd Rahman, 53, community nurse Hashilawati Hussin, 43, staff nurse Norhasikin Abu Seman, 38, health assistant Zainurol Fazlan Zainudin, 40, and assistant medical officer Muhamad Azlan Hanifah, 31, all of whom were injured.
According to Fedzrol, he then took an alternative step using the pitch attitude of a helicopter technique which is to ensure that the impact starts from the tail of the helicopter so that the passengers are safe.
"After crashing, I was unconscious for a few minutes. As soon as I woke up, I heard voices calling me and found that all the passengers had managed to get out to safety while I was still in the seat with my seat belt on and my hand still holding the controls," he said.
Fedzrol, who suffered a head injury, said he was very grateful that all the passengers and he himself were safe, but apologised for the incident.
He said the incident did not take away his enthusiasm in the field of aviation. - Bernama