Thursday September 27, 2012
Preliminary findings point to bad weather among causes of copter crash
KUCHING: Preliminary information indicated that bad weather was among the causes of the helicopter crash that killed three passengers on July 20.
This was revealed by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.
Kong said his ministry had received the preliminary report to the possible cause of the crash, origin of the helicopter and ownership of the helicopter.
“The preliminary report indicated that bad weather was one of the probable causes of the crash,” he said when asked on the latest update to the investigation into the Eurocopter EC120 helicopter crash.
The aircraft that belonged to Sebiro Holdings was heading to Nanga Merit when it crashed into the Sungai Teriso estuary near Sebuyau, 150km from here.
The victims were state PKR vice-chairman Peter Ato Mayau, quantity surveyor Siti Khuzaimah and architect Henry Loh.
German pilot Rico Steger survived after he managed to get out of the wreckage and swam for a few hours before reaching Kampung Tebelu, Sebuyau.
Kong did not rule out other causes, including human error, until the final report is out.
“The final report is still pending ... I don’t know when it will be ready and so we don’t know about the other causes yet.”
He said although the crashed helicopter was a foreign registered aircraft it was allowed to fly in Malaysia.Malaysia was quite liberal in aircraft ownership so long as the aircraft was properly certified.
He said there were many foreign aircraft owned by Malaysians but registered in other countries because they were financed by foreign banks.
“This is a technical thing, which is allowed. Our local banks at the moment are not familiar with finan- cing aircraft and when it is financed by a foreign bank, it has to be registered in a foreign country,” he said.
Kong, however, said there were procedures to follow. Asked if it was mandatory for all aircraft to have life vests, he said it depended on where they were flying to.
He said if the aircraft flew over land and not over water, then a life vest is not compulsory.
“Life vests are only compulsory if it flies over water.”