A news report has just come out saying a helicopter was reported missing in Sarawak. The helicopter belongs to GCA Skyline Aviation Inc. Source: Interaksyon. It is registered in Philippines. The helicopter model is Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil.
Director-General (DG) of Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman has confirmed the disappearance. He said the helicopter lost contact with air traffic control tower just after departure from Betong. “The helicopter left Betong at 4:12 PM and should have arrived in Kuching around 5 PM”, he said.
Crew and Passengers
- Capt Rudolf Rex Ragas – pilot
- Datuk Noriah Kasnon, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC)
- Asmuni Abdullah – Noriah’s husband
- Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Chairman
- Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai, Secretary-general, MPIC
- Ahmad Sobri Harun – personal bodyguard to Datuk Noriah
- Model: Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil
- Type: Single-engine helicopter
- Registration Country: Philippines
- Registration Number: RP-C6828
- Operator: GCA Skyline Aviation Inc.
Search and Rescue (SAR) Team
Malaysian Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai commented about SAR mission during a statement on Friday night (6 May 2016). Source
“The SAR mission is currently being led by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) with the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Air Force (TUDM), Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Marine Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) and Civil Defence Department,” – Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysian Transport Minister
THURSDAY, MAY 5TH 2016
5:00 PM: A helicopter traveling from Betong to Kuching has been reported lost at that time.
9:00 PM: The Star news portal reported, albeit briefly, about the disappearance. “More to come” has been added at the end of news report, indicating there will be more stories.
9:30 PM: We are still looking for more information on the internet and no new information has been reported. The fate of crew and passengers as well as aircraft registration number remained unknown at the moment.
FRIDAY 6 MAY 2016
12:40 AM: Sarawak Police has given a press statement at 11:30 PM yesterday. No signs of the helicopter so far. Search and rescue team has been deployed at last known location of the helicopter. Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan Satem has asked people to offer their prayer. Weather was reported as bad during the time of disappearance.
10:04 AM: A team of about 100 personnel are searching for the missing helicopter. They will focus on the districts of Sri Aman, Simunjan and Betong. Personnel involved are from Marine Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Police, General Operations Force and Civil Defence Department. Source: The Star
11:45 AM: Kuala Kangsar MP, Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil is also in the missing helicopter. Friends and relatives begins to gather at his home to learn about the new developments of the disappearance.
11:49 AM: Fire Rescue team has found debris of a helicopter at Sungai Batang Sadong, believed to be remains of the missing helicopter.
Noon: A body belonged to a woman has been found. The body was brought to SMK Sebuyau with a boat later at 1 pm. It was flown to Kuching by TUDM’s Nuri Helicopter at arrived at 3:30 PM. Source
7:47 PM: Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the investigation will be conducted by DCA’s Air Accident & Investigation Bureau (BSKU).
SATURDAY 7 MAY 2016
8:34 AM: Second body was found, according to Farhan Sufyan Borhan, Assistant Director of Sarawak Fire Rescue Department. Source
11:45 AM: Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, tweeted about the finding of third body in the crash. The third body was later confirmed as Ahmad Sobri. Source
12:17 PM: Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Search and Rescue (SAR) mission today will cover 875 square kilometers, compared to 2,850 square kilometers yesterday.
3:26 PM: Fourth body has been found.
3:42 PM: Second body has confirmed to be of Dr. Sundaran’s. Source
6:00 PM: The fifth body has been found at 6:00 PM today, about 2 km from Lingga operation centre.
MONDAY 9 MAY 2016
10:15 AM: The sixth victim of the helicopter crash in Sebuyau has finally been recovered, according to a news report by The Borneo Post. Source