Malaysia Helicopter Crash: Navy Reports Inappropriate Flight Height in Fatal Accident

KUALA LUMPUR – The Royal Malaysian Navy has disclosed that the Eurocopter AS555SN Fennec helicopter involved in a fatal crash in Lumut was not flying at an appropriate height for the manoeuvre being performed. This information was revealed by Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Ayob on May 30 during a press conference presenting the findings of an extensive investigation.

The investigation, which lasted over a month, confirmed that both helicopters and their crew were in proper condition. “We have thoroughly inspected the wreckage of both helicopters and discovered there were no mechanical problems,” Admiral Abdul Rahman stated. He added that all naval personnel on board were fit and adhered to procedures.

The investigation board, comprising nine Navy officers with expertise in flight and aircraft engineering, received assistance from the Air Force’s Directorate General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA) and Armed Forces medical doctors.

On April 23, a tragic incident resulted in the deaths of 10 Navy personnel when two naval helicopters crashed in Lumut during a third rehearsal for a flypast marking the 90th Naval Day. The helicopters involved were a Eurocopter AS555SN Fennec and an Agusta-Westland AW-139. The Fennec helicopter crashed into the swimming pool of the sports complex, while the Agusta helicopter crashed at the Navy stadium in Lumut.

Preliminary investigations had already indicated that both helicopters were airworthy at the time of the incident. The Navy’s initial report also affirmed that the crewmen were in good health and qualified to handle the aircraft. This detailed investigation sheds light on the factors leading to the tragic accident, emphasizing the importance of adhering to appropriate flight heights during maneuvers to ensure safety.