Human error, negligence led to Ipoh air crash, say investigators
by K. Parkaran
PETALING JAYA: A host of human errors and organisational negligence are to blame for the crash of a two-seater light aircraft that claimed the life of a flight instructor in August last year.
According to the final report on the fatal incident by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), safety requirements were not adhered to during the night training flight.
This included switching on the wrong switch which resulted in the engine running on less power. This subsequently caused the pilots to inaccurately identify the nature of emergency during take-off.
“The error was not noticed by both pilots and subsequently caused a power loss during the climbing phase,” the report, which was released on Jan 16, read.
The report however did not name the pilots but only identified them as “Pilot 1” and “Pilot 2”.
However, it was widely reported that flight instructor Fajim Juffa Mustafa Kamal, 52, was killed and chief flight instructor Din Fikri Zainal Abidin, 62, escaped with injuries after their Piper 28-161 crashed on a road near an overhead bridge in Ipoh.
Din Fikri had passed out during the incident.
AAIB, however, commended Fajim Juffa for his quick thinking in landing the aircraft along Jalan Dr Nazrin Shah in Sungai Rokam, Medan Gopeng, which was “the best option available”.
AAIB also said other factors that led to the pilots’ error included procedures that were not adequately covered in a night flying brief.
This resulted in both pilots being ill-prepared to handle the emergency or being aware of the limited safe landing areas within the aerodrome vicinity.
“The decision to carry out an intersection take-off instead of using the full runway length further complicated the judgement and decision-making error,” it added.
The investigators said despite the pilot making two Mayday calls three minutes after taking off, the crash alarm was not activated by the air traffic controller (ATC), with the information transmitted by tower to the airport fire and rescue service via direct line.
Another factor was the rushed night flying programme brought about by the aerodrome operator approving only two days as compared with four days originally, with a limited time slot of two hours per day.
There was also a lack of cross-checking between the two pilots.
The probe also found that there were no personnel manning the aircraft operator’s flight operations control centre during the night training flight, adding that there was only one personnel on duty to marshal two training flights taking-off at about the same time.
According to AAIB, there were nine air accidents last year with two final crash reports completed while the others have had their preliminary reports done, pending the final reports.
Source: Human error, negligence led to Ipoh air crash, say investigators – FMT
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