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Eyewitness: Pilot of ill-fated flight tried hard to land

JASIN: The pilot of an ill-fated micro-light aircraft that crashed shortly after taking off from the Sungai Rambai aerodrome was seen frantically attempting to land says an eyewitness.
Khairul Mamat, 35, who lives about 500m from the crash site said he saw the pilot trying to turn and land after a series of loud bangs were heard at about 11am.
“I saw the aircraft attempting to turn back to the runway before it went into a spiral and crashed into the Sungai Mati river,” Khairul said, adding that he made a distress call to the Fire and Rescue Department.
The pilot of the Quicksilver GT500 aircraft, Yen Yoon Fah, 54, from Klang, Selangor, died while his passenger Mohd Shahrul Shafiree, 35, sustained serious injury. He is warded at the Muar Hospital in Johor.
Melaka Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Kamarulzaman Mohd Din said the passenger was found along the riverbank in a semi-conscious state by rescuers at about 11.50am.
He said the aircraft was submerged in about 3m of water and the pilot was believed to have drowned.
It is also learnt that no distress call was made to air tower controllers at the Batu Berendam Airport, here.
Yen’s body was sent to the Tangkak Hospital mortuary in Johor.
Sungai Rambai aerodrome’s chairman Datuk Hasan Abdul Rahman said the aircraft was on a test flight when it crashed shortly after take off about 200m to 300m from the runway.
He said the aircraft was privately owned and was parked at the aerodrome for three months for inspection to obtain a permit to fly from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
Hasan said the pilot had successfully taken off twice, when he started flying the aircraft at 9.30am, but crashed on the third attempt at 11am.
Eyewitnesses heard loud explosion and a preliminary report suggests that the aircraft suffered engine failure, he said.
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