Wednesday 24 April 2024

Crew killed after two Malaysian Navy helicopters collide

Ten crew members have died following a mid-air collision between two Malaysian navy helicopters that subsequently crashed. The Royal Malaysian Navy reported that the collision occurred on Tuesday morning during aerial training in northern Lumut, the location of the navy's headquarters.

An Agusta Westland AW139 Maritime Operations Helicopter (HOM) crashed near the stadium's raised seating area within the complex, while a Eurocopter Fennec went down near a swimming pool. According to the navy, the Agusta carried seven crew members and the Eurocopter three. All were pronounced dead at the crash site around 9:30 am (01:30 GMT).
The AgustaWestland AW139 M503-3, was operated by 503 Squadron and the Eurocopter AS 555SN Fennec, was operated by 502 Squadron.

The navy has announced plans to form an investigation board to ascertain the cause of the incident. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has referred to the event as a "heart-wrenching tragedy" and has confirmed that an investigation will be conducted.

Social media videos depict several helicopters flying over a stadium with troops arrayed below. It appears one helicopter struck the rear rotor of another, causing both to crash. The crews were rehearsing for the upcoming Navy Day celebrations scheduled to begin on May 3rd.

Malaysia has experienced several helicopter crashes in the last decade.

In 2021, a helicopter crash in Sarawak, Borneo, claimed six lives, including Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Noriah Kasnon.

In 2020, a collision between two helicopters east of Kuala Lumpur led to two deaths.

In 2015, Jamaluddin Jarjis, who was serving as Malaysia's ambassador to the United States and had been a government minister, was among six individuals who perished when their helicopter crashed in a jungle area of central Selangor state.

Aircraft Information:
Owner / Operator: Royal Malaysian Navy
Aircraft: Eurocopter AS 555SN Fennec
Registration: M502-6
Serial Number: 5719

Aircraft Information:
Owner / Operator: Royal Malaysian Navy
Aircraft: AgustaWestland AW139
Registration: M503-3
Serial Number: 31965


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