Malaysiakini News

Aviation authority: Dr M's jet not sabotaged, only technical fault

Published:  |  Modified:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), after an investigation, has concluded that Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad's private jet was not sabotaged but instead experienced a "technical fault".

"Following our thorough investigation, CAAM has found that there was no indication whatsoever of any sabotage.

"The aircraft was unable to fly only due to a minor and routine technical fault, namely air leakage from the left-hand nose wheel," said CAAM chairperson Azharuddin A Rahman.

Azharuddin criticised the allegation which he said would hurt the country's aviation reputation.

"Allegations of sabotage against an aircraft are extremely serious and could impact the reputation of Malaysian aviation and the country as a whole especially in this sensitive general election period.

"It is morally wrong to make such wild and false allegations for the sake of political gain," he said.

Yesterday, Mahathir who was supposed to take off from Subang Airport said the aircraft he was to have travelled on had issues with its tyre.

Mahathir said he did not rule out damage, adding that it was lucky that the problem was discovered early on or it could have led to an accident.

Azharuddin said the aircraft involved was a Bombardier Challenger CL60 registered under Malta tail number 9H-VFD and operated by Vista Jet Limited.

In response to the claim, Azharuddin said the CAAM conducted a thorough investigation including a verification of the aircraft documentation, physical inspection of the aircraft and interviews with the pilots and maintenance personnel of the aircraft.

"The aircraft’s documentation found that there was no recent reported defect except for air leakage from the left-hand nose wheel, which was logged on April 27.

"CAAM was also informed by the maintenance personnel that they found the left-hand nose wheel tyre pressure to be low.

"They then serviced the tyre and on monitoring the tyre pressure, found the tyre pressure to be dropping at 2psi per minute," he said.

Azharuddin said VistaJet was not able to replace the tyre due to non-availability of spares.

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