Semenyih helicopter tragedy: Black box to be sent to UK for analysis

SEMENYIH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The flight data recorder of the helicopter that crashed in Semenyih on Saturday, killing six people including a political ally of Prime Minister Najib Razak, will be sent to Britain for analysis, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said on Sunday.

Police had located the recorder - popularly known as black box - which looked to be in good condition, in the vicinity of the primary wreckage at about 11.30am on Sunday. Some personal belongings and pieces of wreckage were also retrieved in the 500m radius of the crash site. 

Liow said it would take a week for the results to return from the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) in Farnborough.

"The extraction of the data and analysis could take over a week. So we need time," Liow told reporters.

"This is normal practice as only a few countries have the capability to extract the information from the black box. The results of the analysis will be available soon," he added.

Two officers from the Civil Aviation Department (DCA) and a police officer will accompany the black box.

The helicopter carrying Jamaluddin Jarjis, special envoy to the United States, Azlin Alias, principal private secretary to the Prime Minister and four others exploded in mid-air and crashed in Semenyih, just minutes away from its destination on Saturday afternoon.

The charred bodies were found by the Fire and Rescue Department personnel at 8.15pm. It is believed that all six were killed instantly when the helicopter exploded over a rubber plantation along Jalan Sungai Lallang, Kampung Pasir Baru, during a downpour.

The corporate AS365N2 Dauphin helicopter was owned by IGB Corporation and operated by Cempaka Aviation, which is owned by the pilot.

Liow said the Ministry has set up a five-member investigation team, headed by Datuk Yahya Abdul Rahman, to probe the cause of the crash. An Accredited Representative from France is expected to join the team.