- 2010/03/25 Airshow horror: RMAF pilot dies in UUM crash

Thousands of Universiti Utara Malaysia students and their parents watched in horror as a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Pilatus PC-7 exploded and caught fire in midair during a solo airshow at 10.15am on Thursday.

The 33-year-old pilot was manoeuvring the aircraft to thrill the crowd at the opening of the UUM convocation expo when the planeís engine compartment, in front of the cockpit, exploded and caught fire.

The crowd watched helplessly as the pilot ejected out of the diving plane, with thick black smoke trailing from the engine compartment, before it 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 10m from the wreckage.


Image: Police personnel inspecting the wreckage of the RMAF Pilatus PC-7 after it crashed behind the Bukit Tangga Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) next to the UUM campus on Thursday.
Police personnel inspecting the wreckage of the RMAF Pilatus PC-7 after it crashed behind the Bukit Tangga Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) next to the UUM campus on Thursday.



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 last year, 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.
(Source: The Star)

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