Semenyih crash: Pilot, copter certified to fly

PUTRAJAYA - The helicopter which crashed in Semenyih on Saturday killing all six on board had been certified to fly in February.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the AS365 (9M-IGB) Dauphin 2 helicopter had undergone aircraft maintenance on Jan 29 this year followed by a flight test on Feb 9.

"The aircraft had a valid certificate of airworthiness under Private Category which was last renewed on Feb 14 and valid until Feb 8, 2016.

"It had a clean bill of health," Liow told a press conference.

He said the aircraft was manufactued in 1990 by Airbus Helicopters or formerly known as Eurocopter France.

"As for the pilot, Clifford William Fournier Jr, he held a valid licence rated for this type of aircraft since 2012.

"He has been flying since 2002 totalling nearly 13 years experience.

"The pilot stuck to the approved flight path throughout the journey, starting from Kuantan to Rompin, then Kajang and then to its intended destination Subang.

"So we hope people do not speculate on what happened and wait until the investigation is completed," he said.

Liow said at no point during the flight did Fournier issue a distress call, adding that unlike airplane pilots, helicopters do not need to be in constant communication with air traffic controllers (ATC), unless in the event of an emergency.

The helicopter carrying Rompin MP Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis, the Prime Minister's principal private secretary, Datuk Azlin Alias, businessman Datuk Robert Tan, pilot Capt Clifford Fournier; company assistant Aidiana Baizieva and bodyguard Mohd Razkan Seran, 32, crashed in Semenyih, just minutes away from its destination.