Light plane piloted by S'porean nearly hit van before crashing into sea

Belly up: The four on board the light aircraft that crashed near the Teluk Dalam beach, Pangkor escaped with minor injuries.

LUMUT: A driver and his passengers had a close shave with death as a Piper 32 light aircraft crashed into the sea near Teluk Dalam at Pangkor Island.

The man, who only wanted to be known as Katan, in his 50s, said he was driving a van full of tourists on a sightseeing tour of the area when the aircraft zoomed dangerously in front of his vehicle.

"Had I driven a few seconds faster, the aircraft would have crashed into my van.

"The tourists in the van screamed their lungs out after seeing the aircraft flying close to us.

"We were very lucky," he said yesterday.

The light aircraft crashed into the sea at about 1.25pm yesterday with four people onboard - two Singaporean men, a Malaysian man and a woman from China.

Met at the Pangkor health clinic, medical officer Dr Talib Salleh said all four were only slightly injured and had received outpatient treatment.

He said the pilot, Tan Les Lie, 66, from Singapore, injured his lower lip while co-pilot Khoo Lam Thean, 76, from Ipoh, his left hand and right leg.

Two other passengers, Yip Kin Long, 51, from Singapore, and his wife Liang Jiao, 27, suffered pain on their shoulder and back.

"There are no signs of concussion or serious injuries.

"They were standing on the beach after being rescued by people in the area," he said.

Manjung OCPD Asst Comm Tengku Mohd Zailan Tengku Ahmad said the aircraft was registered in Thailand under Ever Success Auto Ltd.

ACP Tengku Zailan said the aircraft had just taken off from the Pangkor airstrip at about 1.20pm and was heading towards Subang when its engine failed.

"Its engine had some failure, forcing the pilot to abort and land the aircraft," said ACP Tengku Zailan.

The plane, he added, was later dragged to shore with a cable pulled by a bulldozer.

The case, he said, had been handed over to the Civil Aviation Department.