JASIN – The wreckage of the GT500 microlight aircraft which crashed on October 14 has been raised from the bottom of Sungai Mati, Muar, Johor, for investigation by aviation authorities.
Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) investigator Izani Ismail said an excavator was used to pull up the wreckage in a 45-minute operation which began at 10.30am.
“The investigation is conducted in accordance with standards including the taking of images of the aircraft before it is handed over to the owner’s family.
“The interview of the passenger, who is still in pain, will be conducted immediately,” he told reporters after the operation ended, here today.
Also present were Datuk Hasan Abd Rahman, who is Sungai Rambai Aerodrome chairman and the Sungai Rambai State Assemblyman.
The initial report was expected to be released in one week while the full report would take one year to be ready. Several witnesses including firefighters and Civil Defence Force (APM) members had been summoned to assist in the investigation.
Izani said the age of the aircraft has yet to be ascertained but believed it is not a new aircraft.
Meanwhile, AAIB investigator Khairulnizam Jamaludin said he had to dive to the bottom of the river to tie a rope to the wreckage of the aircraft to enable the excavator to pull it up.
Among the challenges were limited vision due to the murky water and dangerous animals such as pythons and crocodiles.
Meanwhile, Hasan said the operation to raise the aircraft wreckage took some time as it needed detailed preparation since it was in a dangerous location.
The operation involved more than 50 members of enforcement authorities including from the Fire and Rescue Department, the APM, the Forestry Department and the Department of Civil Aviation.
The crash killed the pilot, Yee Yoon Fah, 54, while his friend, Mohd Shahrul Shafiri, 35, suffered injuries and was sent to Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital, Muar for treatment. – BERNAMA