Interim report: Helicopters in Lumut crash airworthy

KUALA LUMPUR: Both the naval helicopters that crashed in Lumut last month were airworthy during the incident, according to the preliminary report into the tragedy.

The Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) said maintenance on both helicopters followed procedures and routines set by the original equipment manufacturer.

“The HOM AW139 helicopter had a black box while the Fennec helicopter was not equipped with one.

“Data analysis from the Multi-Purpose Flight Data Recorder (black box) for HOM AW139 was received on May 3 and is being further analysed by the Investigation Board,” the Navy said in a statement yesterday.

The Navy said that the preliminary report also showed that all crewmen were in good health to handle the aircraft and were capable of doing so based on their qualifications.

It said the Investigation Board consists of nine TLDM officers with expertise on air engineering and flight.

“It is also assisted by the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s Directorate General Technical Airworthiness and military medical doctors.

“Cooperation, expertise and views from Leonardo Helicopters and Airbus Helicopters have also been sought to complete the investigation, including analysis of HOM’s black box,” the Navy said.

It said the Investigation Board is continuing its probe to discover the causes behind the incident and the factors that may have led to it.

“Among the focus of the Investigation Board is to analyse all flight profiles on the day of the incident by using a flight simulator and actual aircraft.

“Assistance and views from Airbus Helicopters will be sought if there is data on Fennec’s equipment that could assist the investigation.

“The Investigation Board will continue its efforts to identify aspects that must be scrutinised deeper, with the aim to prepare a thorough and complete final report.

“We give (our) assurance that the investigation is being conducted in a transparent and comprehensive manner.

“The final report is expected to be finished by May 29,” the Navy said.

It added that the welfare of the victims’ families will be managed well.

On April 23, 10 crew members were killed when two helicopters collided during training at the naval base in Lumut, Perak.

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