No birds. No drones. No fire onboard. Prelim report quashes speculators' wild theories on Elmina crash
SHAH ALAM – As question marks continue to linger and shroud the tragic Elmina aircraft crash, the eagerly awaited preliminary report has dispelled the speculations once championed by those quick to conjecture during the height of this aviation tragedy.
This was the contention from aviation expert Captain (R) Abdul Rahmat Omar Tun Mohd Haniff, who weighed in on the report which, for now, ruled out the pilot, crew, quality of the aircraft and weather conditions as the exact cause of the crash.
“From observation of the videos previously shared, they showed sudden loss of flight controls, causing the aircraft to veer and enter a bank. The loss of flight controls caused the aircraft to enter an accelerated stall due to the loss of lift energy in the right wing.
“The facts shown in the preliminary report show that both engines were working well right up to just after the moment of impact, and no foreign objects were ingested or have caused any part of the engines to fail, as previously speculated by netizens.
“No drones, no birds, no fire onboard,” said Rahmat to Sinar Daily, in reference to the wild theories that were previously espoused.
The former Royal Malaysian Air Force officer added that the fact that further investigations were required on parts related to flight controls showed that that factor may have led to or contributed to the incident.
There may be indications, he continued, heard in the cockpit voice recording to point the investigators to this issue.
“No cockpit incapacitation means that both pilots were alert and working right up to the point of impact. The multiple injuries suffered because of the impact.
“The pilot was certified and rated to fly the aircraft alone. The low flying hours may not have been a problem. However, the airplane is a delicate aircraft to handle,” said Rahmat.
For example, he added, the position of the engines, due to being mounted well above the centre of gravity will cause the aircraft to pitch down if thrust was added and pitch up mildly if thrust is reduced.
“Therefore, it takes a longer time to master the aircraft’s full potential. The second in command was not type-rated for this aircraft, but he nevertheless was a capable pilot,” he remarked.
According to the preliminary report that was released by Transport Ministry today, the pilot of the Beechcraft Model 390 Premier 1 was licensed and qualified for the flight in accordance with existing regulations.
The aircraft – that crashed onto the Guthrie Highway at Bandar Elmina, killing eight onboard and two deliverymen on the nearby highway -- also, had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness and had been maintained in compliance with the regulations.
“There was no evidence of incapacitation or physiological factors that affected the flight crew performance. The incident happened in daytime with reported clear visibility and fine meteorological conditions.
“The accident was not survivable due to the magnitude of the deceleration force and the post-crash fire,” read the report published on the ministry’s website.
In terms of causes and contributing factors, the report noted that the initial analysis of the recovered CVR recording had provided critical leads to uncovering the cause of the accident, with a focus on the aircraft flight control systems.
However, nothing conclusive has been discovered for now.
The ministry announced that the final report of the crash will be completed no later than August 2024.