Elmina plane crash: Second time Khairil Azwan involved in air crash, says close friend

KUALA LUMPUR: The first time that Khairil Azwan Jamaluddin was involved in an aircraft crash, he was destined to survive. In fact, he was the co-pilot who helped save the pilot of the crashed helicopter.

This time around fate was not on Khairil Azwan's side as he was listed as one of the passengers of the light aircraft, that crashed close to the Elmina township, near here on Thursday (Aug 17).

According to Khairil Azwan's close friend, Senior Fire Chief 1 Roslan Aziz, who is Putrajaya Fire Rescue Headquarters Air Operations Management Branch chief, in the first crash on Sept 16, 2010, he was the pilot of the helicopter.

Roslan said that at that time Khairil Azwan was his co-pilot and they were conducting aerial survey operations during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival season along the East Coast Highway from Gombak, Selangor to Kuantan, Pahang.

"In the accident, he (Khairil Azwan) was the one who saved me by pulling me out of the helicopter wreckage and giving me first aid before help arrived, as I was seriously injured.

"The accident happened at about 10.30am during bad weather. We tried to turn back but failed to do so due to very limited visibility. We had to fly low but hit trees and crashed into the hilly area," he told Bernama.

Roslan said usually Khairil Azwan is the person he would call to obtain any information in the event of an accident

"When I heard about the Elmina plane crash, I tried calling his phone to obtain information but found out that his name was on the passenger list,” he said.

Roslan described Khairil Azwan, who hails from Mempaga, Pahang, as a cheerful person, who always cared about his friends. He was always eager to fly and reminded his friends to fly safely.

Khairil Azwan joined the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department in 2005 and was Roslan’s co-pilot for three years before leaving six years later to join a private airline.

His name was on the flight manifest issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), but the victim's identity needs to be confirmed through a forensic process.

Earlier, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain confirmed that there were no survivors in the plane crash from Langkawi to Subang. - Bernama

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