RMAF grounds Beechcraft fleet after B'worth crash

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Three other Beechcraft B-200T planes belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RAMF) based in Subang have been grounded temporarily following the crash at the Butterworth Air Force Base in Penang, yesterday.

The order, which came from Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, was to enable a full investigation to identify the cause of the crash and to ascertain that the three other aircraft are safe.

"I have instructed the RMAF chief to identify the cause of the crash and also to implement an effective action plan to prevent recurrence of such an incident," he told reporters after opening the new Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security building at Wisma Pertahanan today.

The minister said the RMAF had been using the American-made aircraft since 1994 for maritime patrol and for search and rescue purposes.

The 5.18pm crash yesterday claimed the life of the pilot, Major C Kayamboo, 45, while three other crew members on board - Capt Wai Lik, 26, Lt Hamid Hanafi, 26, and Sgt Mohd Sofi Azizan, 29 - were injured.

Hishammuddin said the Defence Ministry is always committed to ensure that national defence assets are in good condition and would never compromise with matters involving the safety of its personnel in the line of duty.

- Bernama

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