Copter tragedy: The AW139 has been involved in several prior incidents in Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: One of the helicopter types in the mid-air collision during training at the naval base in Lumut has also been involved in a crash off Pulau Angsa near Kuala Selangor just over a month ago.

There were no casualties from the incident in March, which saw the aircraft having to make an emergency landing in the waters during a rescue exercise.

During that incident, the AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter belonging to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) had been in service for 14 years and was acquired by the government in 2010.

In February 2020, an engineer was seriously hurt while five others, including a pilot, escaped with light injuries after the AgustaWestland AW139 they were travelling in crashed in Sabah’s east coast Tawau district.

According to www.globalair.com, the AgustaWestland AW139 made its maiden flight on Feb 3, 2001 and entered production in 2003.

The medium twin-engine helicopter produced by AgustaWestland remains in production today, with a total of 720 having been sold since 2013. There are over 200 operators of the aircraft across 60 different countries.

Meanwhile, according to the AirForce Technology website, the Eurocopter AS 555 SN Fennec twin-engined helicopter is a naval combat variant.

In June 2021, a AS 555 SN Fennec belonging to the navy also made an emergency landing at the naval base in Lumut after it experienced a malfunction.

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