Thursday, March 25, 2010
Thursday, 25 March 2010 was a sad day for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), the Armed Forces of Malaysia and the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) students and teachers in Sintok, near Alor Setar, Kedah, the northern state of Malaysia.
A RMAF Pilatus PC-7 light aircraft crashed behind the Bukit Tangga Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) next to the UUM campus on that fateful day, killing the pilot.
The crash was witnessed by thousands of UUM students because it happened during an airshow at UUM compound. It was also filmed on camera by some students.
At first, the crowd screamed in awe of the aerial stunts performed by the unfortunate pilot.
However, moments later, they screamed in horror as the Pilatus PC-7 spun out of control towards ground and then exploded and it's engine compartment caught fire in midair at around 10.15 morning.
The 33-year-old pilot, realising that the aircraft is crashing, ejected out of the diving plane.
The plane then crashed behind the Bukit Tangga Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) next to the UUM campus.
Although the pilot managed to eject from the plane, his body, still strapped to the seat, was found some 10 meters from the wreckage.
The body was airlifted from the scene to the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital for a post-mortem.
A police spokesman said the plane had earlier left the RMAF College in Kepala Batas, Alor Setar, to perform at the airshow.
RMAF has used the aircraft since 1982 to train its pilots at its flight college.
In September 2009, two RMAF pilots were killed when their Pilatus PC-7 crashed and burst into flames at the Langkawi International Airport.
The plane had taken off from the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas, Alor Setar but crashed in an open area some 90m from the tarmac at the Langkawi airport.
Currently, the RMAF has 30 units of the Swiss-made PC-7 Mk I and eight units of the PC-7 Mk II.
God bless his soul.