- Published on Sunday, 12 January 2014 11:22
KUALA LUMPUR: THREE aviators escaped with injuries when their Royal Selangor Flying Club Cessna 172 crashed near Batu Dam in Ulu Yam here on Friday.
The 5pm incident occurred when the Cessna's pilot tried to prevent a pair of eagles from hitting its propeller, forcing the plane to dive.
Unfortunately, the pilot failed to regain altitude fast and crashed into a bamboo grove.
Those on board the four-seater plane were pilot Saiful Farid Amri Amrizal, 22, co-pilot Syed Haidhar Syed Zulkiflee, 25, and passenger Mohd Shaiful Zafeq Razali, 24.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Othman Abdullah said the victims were found on a hill near the crash site, 3km from Batu Dam, by a team of four rescuers at 2.45am yesterday.
He said the victims walked 100m up the hill to seek help before they stopped due to the injuries. "We were notified about the missing plane at 9pm.
"We coordinated with police and the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) for a search-and-rescue mission based on its last known location.
"A reconnaissance team consisting of two fire officers, assisted by a villager, who witnessed the crash, and his friend, started hiking into the jungle around midnight before they found the victims," he said, adding that all three were conscious when rescuers arrived.
He said the officers provided first-aid treatment to the victims, while the other two returned to the rescue staging point to get help.
The second team of 25 rescuers reached the victims' location 90 minutes later, and started the evacuation.
Othman said they used two boats to get across the dam and took the victims to the staging point at 7.55am. They were then sent to Selayang Hospital here.
He said the victims told rescuers they were trying to avoid a pair of eagles when the accident happened.
Selayang Hospital director Dr Siti Zaleha Mohd Salleh said (at press time) that Shaiful Zafeq was in critical condition because of concussion while Saiful Farid and Syed Haidhar were semi-critical. She said Shaiful Zafeq also suffered injuries to his spleen, while Saiful Farid suffered a concussion, a fractured right arm and soft tissue injury to his right ankle. Syed Haidhar was injured on his chest and left ankle.
All were warded at the hospital's surgical ward.
DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said a team had been formed to investigate the incident.
"Investigators will visit the crash site today to examine the aircraft. We will interview the victims and witnesses, and analyse the flight records to find out what had happened."