Helicopter accident: First in M’sia involving G2CA

Prof Dr Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian (right)

KUALA LUMPUR – The accident involving two Guimbal Cabri G2 (G2CA) helicopters, which saw one of them crash in Taman Melawati near here yesterday is the first such incident in the country involving the aircraft model.

A search on the aviation website at https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/type/G2CA also found that yesterday’s incident was the 45th and 46th recorded since the first one in Baden, Germany on April 19, 2010.

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The search also revealed five more incidents involving the same helicopter model reported this year, namely two in the United States and one each in Switzerland, Poland and Australia.

According to an internet search, the helicopter, which is manufactured by French company, Guimbal, is equipped with a three-blade rotor and can fly continuously for four and a half hours with a maximum speed of 100 knots.

Commenting on yesterday’s crash, aviation expert Prof Dr Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian told Bernama that this type of aircraft was often used for training purposes, adding that the three main rotor blades made it more stable when performing the auto-rotation manoeuvre.

He said auto-rotation could be engaged when the helicopter engine was not functioning in order to safely land the aircraft.

Dr Mohd Harridon said if there was no black box in the helicopter, an investigation would be launched to determine the cause of the crash covering various aspects including conducting a video analysis of the incident, taking statements from witnesses, mapping of the aircraft components found, conducting crush analysis and reviewing the maintenance records.

The accident involved two G2CA type helicopters (9M-HCA and 9MHCB), which were believed to be conducting flight training when they collided mid-air after taking off from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (LTSAAS), Subang, each with two occupants.

One of the aircraft crashed, claiming the lives of former Royal Malaysian Navy officer Mohamed Sabri Baharom, 56, of Wangsa Melawati and Mohd Irfan Fikri Mohamed Rawi, 41, of Jalan Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

The two survivors were former Malaysia Airlines Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, 66, and Tan Chai Eian, 51, who managed to perform an emergency landing in a nearby area.

The Transport Ministry’s Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has initiated a technical investigation based on Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO Annex 13), on the accident.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said based on ICAO Annex 13, an initial investigation report will be prepared within 30 days from the date of the air accident.

“The main objective of the investigation is to determine the circumstances and cause of the accident with an aim to safeguard lives and prevent future accidents.

“In this regard, the investigation to be initiated is not to apportion blame nor liability,” he said in a statement.

Wee said the investigating team issue a full report of the findings, which will include recommendations for improvements toward better civil aviation safety, once the entire investigation is completed.

He said the government will use these findings as a basis to form future recommendations for holistic improvements to the country’s civil aviation industry. — BERNAMA