Helicopter crash in Malaysia reported pilot alive, then dead

PHOTO: Helicopter pilot first reported alive after crash, later revised to dead. (via CHIN FOON KHENG / The Star)

Yesterday above the skies of Malaysia, a helicopter mysteriously disappeared as air traffic control lost all contact. This morning the helicopter’s pilot was reportedly found alive in the wreckage only to be declared dead later on.

At 11.37am yesterday, the helicopter took off from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, also known as Subang Airport – a secondary airport of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. It was scheduled to land an hour later on a short 180-kilometre flight north of Kuala Lumpur to Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh. It never arrived.

The Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Tower reported losing contact with the helicopter at 12.16pm somewhere in the area of Bidor, about two-thirds of the way between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh. The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia reported that the helicopter recorded a rapid loss of altitude in just 60 seconds, before being officially labelled as missing.

The aircraft was a Eurocopter and was privately owned, with 58 year old pilot Richard Chen being reported as found alive at the scene of the crash site at 8.20am this morning with rescuers saying they were moving him to a hospital in Ipoh for treatment.

But minutes ago, police revised their statement and said the helicopter pilot working for a private firm had been found dead and was being transported to the hospital for an autopsy.

There did not appear to be any explosion or fire in the helicopter crash, and controllers did not receive any distress calls before the crash. Rescue workers raced to the suspected area of the crash last night but had to call off the search at 8pm due to bad weather.

Malaysia’s transport minister said that early information from the helicopter crash site when it was first identified at 8.18am suggested that the pilot had miraculously survived the crash, but later the pilot lost consciousness and was unable to be resuscitated.

SOURCE: Asian News Today & Free Malaysia Today

Thailand News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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