Monday, April 6, 2015

Many VIPs killed in air accidents since 1976

Air accidents involving helicopters and light aircraft have killed and injured many dignitaries from 1976, until to date.

Among the most shocking incidents happened in 1976 when Sabah Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens, with 10 others including Cabinet ministers, were killed when a Nomad aircraft belonging to Sabah Air, crashed about two kilometres from the Kota Kinabalu Airport.

Witnesses heard an explosion in mid-air before the aircraft crashed in the waters of Sembulan metres from a water village, killing Fuad, his Cabinet ministers Datuk Peter Mojuntin, Datuk Salleh Sulong and eight others.

In the latest incident, an air mishap involving a helicopter killed Rompin Member of Parliament and PR1MA Corporation chairman Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, principal private secretary to the prime minister Datuk Azlin Alias and four others.

The following is a list of other flight mishaps involving dignitaries since 1976.

> Jan 10, 1982 - Cessna 206 aircraft ferrying Foreign Minister Tun Mohd Ghazali Shafie, 50, crashed in the mountains in Kampong Som Som Hilir near Janda Baik, 37km from Kuala Lumpur. Mohd Ghazali survived while two others were killed.

> March 8, 1987 - An Alouette helicopter carrying Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak from Pekan to Kuala Lumpur crashed on the KL-Karak Highway. Najib was not injured in the incident.

> Dec 18, 1989 - Four Malaysian Armed Forces senior officers including two generals – Maj Gen Datuk Mustaffa Awang and Brig Gen Datuk Hasbullah Yussoff – were among 16 ATM personnel who died in a Nuri helicopter mishap in the estuary of the Lundu River, 54km north east of Kuching.

> March 3, 1997 - DRB-Hicom Group chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Yahaya Ahmad, 50, and his wife, Puan Sri Rohana Othman, 48, were among three killed in an accident involving an Augusta executive helicopter in Benta, Pahang.

> May 5, 2013 - Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and his family were uninjured after the helicopter they were in overturned due to strong winds at the TUDM Air Base in Sungai Besi.

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