Selangor Journal
Fire and Rescue Department personnel at the site of the aircraft crash at Bandar Elmina in Shah Alam, which killed ten people, on August 17, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Elmina crash: Aircraft airworthy, pilot not incapacitated, says preliminary report 

SHAH ALAM, Sept 15 – The preliminary report into the fatal Elmina crash on August 17 has found that the Beechcraft Model 390 Premier 1 aircraft was properly maintained and that there was no indication of incapacitation or physiological factors that impacted the two flight crew’s performance.

There was also no evidence of foreign object ingestion, bird feathers, or any foreign matter affecting any of the engine components. 

However, the actual cause of the accident will only be revealed in the final report. 

According to the Transport Ministry’s Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) in its initial report released today, eyewitness accounts confirmed that the pilot in command (PIC) was reported to be in good health the night prior to the accident. 

“They also confirmed that the PIC had received adequate rest before the flight departure from Langkawi,” it said. 

The flight was under the command of lead pilot Shahrul Kamal Roslan, 41, while the second-in-command was Heikal Aras Abdul Azim, 44.

“Both pilots possessed valid medical certificates from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia,” the report stated, adding that the crash happened during day time, with reported clear visibility and fine meteorological conditions.

AAIB said investigations also found that the aircraft, which was manufactured in 2004, had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness issued by FAA on May 10, 2023, six days prior to its arrival in Malaysia. 

It had also been maintained in compliance with existing regulations.

Meanwhile, the report said that initial analysis of recordings from the recovered cockpit voice recorder (CVR) has provided critical leads to uncovering the cause of the accident, with a focus on the aircraft flight control systems.

The aircraft’s memory puck is currently being analysed by authorities in the United States. 

“Results from the pending inspection and examination of the related aircraft parts and components are necessary to provide collaborative and/or conclusive evidence in establishing the cause of the accident.”

‘Not a survivable accident’

According to the visual and field analysis detailed in the report, the aircraft’s right wing tip was the first part of the vehicle to make impact with ground, followed immediately by its nose, at high energy.

The aircraft’s container, referring to the passenger compartment, was shattered due to the high impact, making survivability for the passengers “almost impossible.”

“The short-duration acceleration (0.1-0.5 seconds), typically observed in high-energy collisions, resulted in fatal injuries to the aircraft’s occupants.

“These levels of impact forces, collision patterns and magnitudes exceeded the limits of human tolerance, indicating that this was not a survivable accident.

“In this accident, the impact forces exceeded what the aircraft structure could withstand, causing it to disintegrate and transmitting excessive energy to the cabin occupants.”

The Beechcraft 390 Premier 1 aircraft, en route from Langkawi to Subang, crashed in Elmina along the Guthrie Highway at approximately 2.50pm on August 17, resulting in the tragic loss of all eight occupants on board, including Pahang state executive councillor Datuk Seri Johari Harun. 

Additionally, an e-hailing driver and a p-hailing rider on the highway also lost their lives. 

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