Evidence of 'irregular maintenance' of Kapar crash aircraft found, says AAIB

PETALING JAYA: Evidence of "irregular maintenance activities" was found by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) in its investigation of the Feb 13 air crash in Kapar, Selangor.

It said in its preliminary report released on Wednesday (March 13) that this includes the installation of uncertified and/or non-conforming aircraft parts on the BK 160 Gabriel light aircraft involved in the fatal crash.

The AAIB added that there was also the installation of aircraft parts and aircraft servicing by unauthorised maintenance organisations or persons who were not properly qualified to carry out the maintenance activities.

It said that one of the irregular activities up to the time of the report's issuance included the removal of the aircraft's nose landing gear and the installation of a new one by "unauthorised maintenance personnel or persons who were not appropriately qualified."

"(The) installation of the new nose landing gear was completed just prior to the accident flight on 13 February 2024. The apparent purpose of the accident flight was to test the newly installed nose landing gear," said the AAIB.

It also said that routine maintenance activities were performed on the aircraft by unauthorised and unqualified maintenance personnel, including the replacement of spark plugs and an air filter element as well as other servicing conducted at the end of Nov 2023.

"There is high likelihood that there were other irregular maintenance works, based on the entries in the maintenance log kept by the late pilot," added the AAIB.

The AAIB also said in the preliminary report that there is evidence that the BK 160TR had exceeded the 850 kg maximum take-off weight of the aircraft during the accident flight on Feb 13.

In the Feb 13 crash, 30-year-old pilot Daniel Yee Hsiang Khoon and 42-year-old passenger Roshaan Singh Rania were both killed.

Yee was from Penang while Roshaan Singh was from Johor.

The aircraft took off from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang before crashing some 40km east near Kampung Tok Muda, Kapar.

On the aircraft, the AAIB also said that its weight of the flight, when it crashed, was 921.3kg, adding that this means that its actual total weight had exceeded the maximum take-off weight limitation by approximately 8.4% for the accident flight.

The AAIB then said that this presumes that there was no luggage on board and no significant weight change in either passenger or pilot.

"The BK 160TR is a relatively weight-sensitive aircraft, and based on evidence, there is a high probability that there were other flights flown by the late pilot previously that had also exceeded the limitation of the aircraft operating weight," added the AAIB.

In its conclusions of the preliminary report, the AAIB also said that the pilot was properly licensed and qualified for the flight and the aircraft had valid airworthiness certification.

This comes after the Transport Ministry said in a press release that the report on the crash that killed two people was completed in accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation - Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation (ICAO - Annex 13).

The Preliminary Report can be downloaded at www.mot.gov.my/en/AAIB/report/a03-24

In the statement, the Transport Ministry said that the AAIB investigation is ongoing to determine the causes and contributing factors that led to the fatal accident.

"The Final Report on the accident shall be completed and made publicly available within 12 months of the accident in accordance with ICAO Annex 13," it said.

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