S 61 Nuri wreckage found, crew died

The aircraft and crew of the fateful RMAF S 61 utility helicopter which went missing six days ago was found in thick jungle within 5 km from Genting Sempah, at 1.24pm. All the crew did not survive the crash. Bernama.com has the story, Nuri wreckage found, all six airforce on board killed’. Bad weather has been initially blamed for the accident.

At the moment efforts are being made to extricate the bodies from the crash site.

Apparently, this is the 18th crash of the same type since the initially acquired 40 units and RMAF started operations 39 years ago. Considering that it is a utility helicopter and the backbone of RMAF and ATM operations all these years, especially during the days of fighting communist terrorists, in the interiors, the S 61 Nuri have shown an impeccable service record for our security forces.

s-61-nuri.jpg

The Government have been looking for the S 61 replacement since more than few years ago. However, the limited millitary spending by MINDEF have kept the program on priority KIV all these while, in favour of other serious spending such as the acquisition of the two Scorpene class submarines and 18 Su30MKM multirole combat aircrafts. Replacement is expected to cost between USD 20-30 million per aircraft and dependent on the specifications that goes with it. Amongst the shortlisted are Eurocopter NH 90, Sikorsky S 70 Blackhawk and Mi 171. A more high end tri-engined Augusta Westland EH 101 should be the perfect replacement for the S 61 Nuri fleet but it was deemed too pricey.

When asked to comment on the grounding of the remaining 20 odd S 61 Nuris, the Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Defence Minister said that the aircrafts are the backbone of RMAF and ATM operations. Until replacements arrive, they will be still servicing the needs of the security forces.

Currently the Army Air Corp is operating 16 units of Augusta 109E multirole utility helicopter and the RMN Naval Air Wing is operating 6 units Westland Superlynx 300 and 6 units Eurocopter AS 555N Fennec for their specific operational needs.

On another note, a group of press people is lost in the Genting Sempah jungle area. They went in at 5.45pm with some police personnel and forest rangers for the crash site but were asked to turn back by the army. On the way out, they are unable to find their way. One of the reporters called their colleague who was waiting by the side of the Karak Highway. A search party has been dispatched to locate the missing press.

* Photo taken from Airliners.net, www.airliners.net

Published in: on July 18, 2007 at 00:06  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Innnalillahi wa inna ilaihi rojiun.

    My condolence, particularly to the family of Ka Nur Intan.

  2. I dont know mann…DS najib came out with a statement saying the Nuris are still in good condition and wont be grounded. maybe he knows better but nuri choppers and air crash are synonymous.

    Most of S 61 Nuri’s accident because they fly thru tough conditions (Bekalalan) and rough weather. The aircraft is a very sturdy and robust aircraft.

    Of course the S 61 Nuris are ageing. Consider the amount of heavy utility, its amazing some Nuris are still in good operational condition

  3. Najib travels a lot in the chopper and most times, if I’m not mistaken, he travels in the Nuri.

    So he should know what he’s talking about when he commented on the Nuris.

    Has the PM said anything? Or still honeymooning?

    Travel on helicopter or rotor wing is usually much more higher risk than fixed wing, be it the S 61 Nuri or even the most technologically advance transport helicopter, Augusta Westland EH 101, which run on three engine. Ten years ago Tan Sri Yahya Ahmad perished in one of the avantgarde helicopter Augusta 109E Power most notable accident.

    Unfortunately, the Prime Minister is on holiday again at this present moment. That is why the Cabinet decision is made without him.

  4. I admire their bravery, these air force guys.I’m sure it took lotsa guts in stepping into these flying coffins, day in and day out.

    Easy for Najib to say whatever he said.He flies in BBJ and all the other corporate jets only.

    May Allah bless them.

    I know DPM Najib also take the S 61 Nuri every now and then, when the S 70 Blackhawk don’t fly. Definitely Najib’s men fly the S 61 Nuri whenever he goes anywhere

  5. 4 Rajab 1428
    Salam

    Glad you are back.

    Ramli AR

  6. Welcome back to brother Dog – Alhamdulillah sihat.
    And condolences to the victims of the crash – Takziah dan al-fatihah.

  7. […] error was the cause for the S 61 Nuri accident on 13 July 2007, which killed 6 crew last, which include Kept. Nur Intan Asykeen Mohd. Arof, TUDM, […]

  8. […] TUDM helicopter went missing and later found crashed on the side of a mountain, near Genting. All seven crew died and the Deputy Prime Minister and […]


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