Human error caused the Nuri accident

Human 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, a 27 year old female pilot near Genting Sempah, border between Selangor and Pahang. The board of inquiry finding were revealed today by the Deputy Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Lt. Jen. Dato’ Bashir Abu Bakar, TUDM.

Photographs of the accident site were shown to media that clearly shown the utility helicopter were flying far too close to the jungle canopy and clipped some of the trees, thrice, before it went down. Tests on hydraulics fluid and other fluid samples taken from various apparatus of the aircraft proved that the machine was operating well and no signed of mechanical failure.

Therefore pilot error was concluded as the cause of the mishap in bad weather and low visibility. The aircraft was commandeered by Kept. Nor Azlan Termuzi, TUDM, 29. has the story on this finding which was made public today in a media conference:

September 27, 2007 20:52 PM

Ill-Fated Nuri Copter Hit Canopy Of Trees Before Crash E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news



KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 (Bernama) — The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Nuri helicopter which crashed in Genting Sempah in July hit the canopy of trees thrice while flying low over the area before going down, according to the report on the investigation into the incident released today.

Deputy Air Force Chief Lt Jen Datuk Bashir Abu Bakar said the investigation also found that bad weather, which had reduced visibility to less than two kilometres, and the hilly terrain in the area had also contributed to the mishap.

“The primary factor for the helicopter crash was that it hit the canopy of trees before crashing during the attempt to get across the Genting Sempah area,” he said when disclosing the report here.

The July 13 crash took the lives of the pilot, Capt Nor Azlan Termuzi, 29, co-pilot Capt Nor Intan Asykeen Moh Arof, 27, Flight Sergeant Khusnizaim Ariffin, 34, and Mohd Azmi Md Yassin, 35, Senior Airman Saifulizam Alias, 28, and Muhammad Ridzuan Ahmad, 27.

The helicopter was flying from the RMAF airbase in Sungai Besi to Kuantan when the accident happened.

Bashir said there was no evidence pointing to any technical fault in the helicopter, and that the investigation did not show up evidence of the engine and gearbox having caught fire.

“The probe team conducted various tests and analyses on several important components, such as the engine and gearbox. Analyses were also done of oil samples, and hydraulic fluid and lubricants.

“The analyses and engineering reports showed that there was nothing wrong in the samples and there was no evidence of any technical problem with the aircraft,” he said.

He also said that two witnesses had seen the ill-fated helicopter flying low.

“At 9.35am, an officer of the Orang Asli Affairs Department in Gombak saw the helicopter flying low in heavy mist. The other witness, an RMAF officer, saw the Nuri making a left turn at bearing 280 degrees,” he said.

Bashir said the pilot of the helicopter had decided to continue flying despite being aware of the bad weather.

He said the pilot should have checked on the weather and sought a safe altitude and not fly low in the heavy mist.

“The pilot should have turned back in such weather and there should have been awareness. The RMAF has decided to provide situational-awareness training for pilots to enable them make (the right) decisions during flights and emergencies,” he said.

The RMAF investigation panel was led by Lt Col Syed Islam Shahajam with Lt Col (Dr) Zuki Othman, Major Yee Ching Choy and Major Muhd Noorafzanidzam Frienney Salleh as the members.



The board of inquiry was led by Lt. Kol. Syed Islam Sahajam, TUDM. The S 61 Nuri twin-engine utility helicopter had been in service with the RMAF since 1968 and was the trusted vehicle and mainstay of logistics and aerial operations when the Army was fighting against the communist terrorists in the interiors of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.


Published in: on September 28, 2007 at 00:27  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Bro BD,

    I don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand public outcry about outdated military equipment or substandard maintenance. Looks like if this report is true then MinDef (and by extension, the Gov’t) will be vindicated. There will be plenty of red faces for sure, esp. those who ranted and raved trying to blame the Gov’t. Perhaps there should be another independent inquiry to clear any doubts…

    Pointing the finger at the pilot is a serious allegation. And he and his co-pilot would not have chance to defend themselves. This was a military flight and different rules apply. The pilot was perhaps acting under orders.
    Unless of course, this is all spin.
    There should be a civilian board of inquiry to clear matters. I’d be wholly suspicious to accept ONLY the military board’s findings at face value… They might have an agenda.

    The RMAF board of inquiry include two Lt. Col.s. They are experienced pilots themselves and therefore they could qualify the inquiry report. Pilot error or weather is the usual blame for accidents. The factors blamed for the accident point to pilot error. Infact, the father even said on TV3 during the search for the missing helicopter last July that his son like to fly low, incase of emergency.

    Personally, I was involved in maintenance program for the RMAF and Navy and their quality of service is up to mark and spares used are OEMs.

    It is not good to get third party, especially civilians involved in military operations, especially people with access to so many info. If you argue it in that manner, third party civilians doing the inquiry usually have bigger ‘agenda’, if not ulterior motive.

  2. Hallo to you! I am an ex-RMAF Caribou aircrew.During my service from 1964 till 1971,I flew many times with the Nuris.I must admit at that time the Choppers were new and the Pilots had very little flying hours.But still, there were almost no accidents involving this machines.In short,after over 30 years Nuri operations I think,accidents will still happen for whatever reasons.It is very sad when young people loose their lives but don’t despair cause all Air Forces have the same problem too.Greetings from Germany

  3. its almost 4 years after the incident and i still miss every pleasant moment with my best buddies Alahyarham Hj Norazlan Dato’ Termuzi and allahyarhamah Nor Intan Asykeen Mohd Arof during my service back in Kuching Air Base from 2003 until 2006.
    Serving in Air Force Special Forces in 2007 made me involved directly in the Search and Recovery (SAR) mission at Gunung Buah, Genting Sempah. Thats the 1st mission in my life as PASKAU and i have to search and bring out my buddies. Its the saddest moment in my life but i have to carry out the task given as soon as possible and i manage to come out with Arwah Lan body but in separated helicopter.
    i went to his house and wait until his body come back from hospital and people are ready to do the solat jenazah when he is arrive. im the only one Air Force Officer during the waiting period and im the only one who are directly involved in his body recovery. after a while and after the Solat Jenazah, i sneaked into the Van Jenazah and went to the Bukit Kiara graveyard and witness my buddy leaving all of us forever.
    everybody was not satisfied with the inquiry finding coz the gov is blaming the pilot and his jurisdiction. but when i go through and asked about the procedure, it is the pilot failure. and it will always be that ways because the pilot is responsible about the flight and he conquered that the helicopter was serviceable. and every pilot who are experienced should not make the left turn at that area especially during the mist.
    done is done, let us take it as warn to survive in future and let the memories remain. and this coming Aidilfitri, ill go to his grave and pray for him.Al Fatihah

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