Plane with three onboard crashes in Malaysian jungle

KUALA LUMPUR- The fate of three Royal Selangor Flying Club members is uncertain after their Cessna 172 plane crashed deep in the jungle near Empangan Batu, Ulu Yam on Friday evening.

The plane is believed to have taken off from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang on a training flight at around 4.50pm.

It lost communication with the control tower at around 5pm. Its last known coordinates are 031701 N and 10141 E.

Gombak OCPD ACP Abdul Rahim Abdullah said the pilot, who identified himself as Captain Saiful, could be contacted on his mobile phone.

He said Saiful told officials he was in a hill area opposite Empangan Batu and that he had lost his two passengers before connection was cut off.

No information of his condition was communicated.

ACP Abdul Rahim said a search and rescue operation was initially launched but called off at 7pm and would only start again at first light Saturday morning.

"The area in which they crashed has not been pin pointed and it is too dark now to start a search.

"Tomorrow's operation will consist of officers from RMAF, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Civil Defence Department (JPAM)," ACP Abdul Rahim told The Star.