The final report on a helicopter crash that killed Umno MP Jamaluddin Jarjis and five others last year reveals elements of neglect on the part of its pilot.
According to the 117-page report released by the Malaysia Air Accident Investigation Bureau, Captain Clifford Fournier failed to inspect an excessive oil leak and damages to other parts of the helicopter after an emergency landing on a football field in Muadzam Shah, Pahang, last year.
“The pilot was seen by a witness to have exited the helicopter and accompanied a disembarked passenger, clear of the main rotor area,” the report states.
“However, he (Fournier) did not carry out any inspection of the helicopter.”
The report also cited excerpts from several conversations recorded between Fournier and the passengers on board.
“We went all the way to the belly, it’s not good.
“It’s definitely not normal for the wheels to go down into the ground that far… It’s definitely not good to tip like that,” Fournier said on the landing.
The report stated that with knowledge that the helicopter’s undercarriage was damaged, Fournier decided to continue the flight to Subang Airport, with all three landing gears remaining in the extended down position.
“The most likely reason to press on for the flight was to accommodate the passengers’ request to arrive at the destination without delay…,” the report says.
However, the main cause of the accident was attributed to separation of the left horizontal stabiliser during the flight, causing the helicopter to dive and bank to the right, exceeding its flight envelope.
The main rotor blades subsequently severed the tail boom and severed parts of the air frame, resulting in the accident, the report stated.
Other factors that contributed to the crash include the unplanned landing, excessive loads on the fractured left horizontal stabiliser caused by a descending high cruising speed, and passengers’ intervention, which may have pressured the pilot to rush home.
On April 4 last year, the Dauphin AS365 N3 helicopter with the registration 9M-IGB was on a private flight, carrying seven passengers who left Pekan, Pahang, at 3.40pm.
It was on its way to Subang when it crashed in a rubber estate in Kampung Pasir Baru, Sungai Pening, Semenyih.
Aside from Jamaluddin and Fournier, the others who died were Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s principal private secretary Azlin Alias, Kedah businessman Robert Tan, bodyguard Razkan Seran and Ajdiana Baiziera.
All the victims were on their way home after attending the wedding reception of Najib’s daughter in Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar in Pekan, Pahang.