Copter tragedy: Formation flying SOP may be reviewed pending crash investigation, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR: A decision to review current standard operating procedures (SOP) for military formation flying practice or training, will depend on the result of the investigation into the recent crash of two naval helicopters in Lumut, Perak.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the investigation board was conducting a thorough investigation into the crash.

"We will wait for the full result of the investigation before deciding (on the SOP).

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"Anything that needs to be done will be done depending on the result of the investigation," he told a press conference after attending the Armed Forces' Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration at Wisma Perwira on Thursday (April 25).

Asked whether the company or manufacturer of the helicopters will be called in to assist the investigation, Khaled said the investigation board will determine that.

"Rest assured, any individual or party of interest (to the investigation) will be called upon.

"We want to get to the bottom of the matter and get a clear picture of what actually occurred.

"There is nothing to hide as we want to know what happened," he said.

Khaled said all aid and assistance would be given to the family members of the naval personnel and officers killed in the crash in Lumut, he said.

The Royal Malaysian Navy's 90th anniversary celebrations will be cancelled due to the mid-air collision between two Navy helicopters.

Khaled had said that instead, tahlil and doa selamat prayers would be held on Friday (April 26).

He said the Sultan of Selangor would be joining the prayers as the honorary captain of the navy.

“All celebrations planned have been cancelled,” he said.

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