Don’t just blame my father for ‘Double Six’ crash, says pilot’s son

KOTA KINABALU: Pilot Captain Nizam Gandhi, the son of the late Capt Gandhi J. Nathan who piloted the ill-fated Nomad N22B, 9M-ATZ plane that crashed in 1976, feels his father should not be made to bear the sole blame for the incident.

“Maybe the report is correct, but the airline company has the bigger responsibility of making sure the loading of the aircraft was in accordance with the guidelines,” he said when asked to comment on the released “Double Six” tragedy report.

“The pilot cannot be held solely responsible because the company has to prepare the load sheet before taking off,” said the pilot.

However, he said he needed more time to look at the report in its entirety before saying more.

Among other things in the crash report investigations were indications that the loading in the plane was not properly balanced, and that could have contributed to the possible nosedive of the aircraft into the waters off Sembulan just before it made its approach to the Kota Kinabalu Airport on June 6, 1976.

The investigations also blamed pilot error in the report.

“Pathological tests on the pilot proved that he was reasonably fit at the time and was not suffering from the effects of alcohol or drugs, though there was other evidence to suggest that he was tired and had a mild stomach disorder,” the report read.

The report also said Gandhi had been flying for 11 hours and seven minutes, which was against the 10-hour regulation then.

There were suggestions by a witness that Gandhi was tired, but they are inconclusive as it could not be determined how much sleep he had had that night.

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