“The wind was blowing from every direction and both helicopter pedals had malfunctioned making it hard to steer, prompting me to make an emergency landing that resulted in our crash”.
These were the words of Captain Fedzrol Norazam, 43, who was involved in a horrific helicopter crash in Cameron Highlands earlier this Wednesday (26 Oct).
Thankfully, due to Captain Fedzrol’s quick emergency-response skills, all six passengers including himself miraculously survived the crash.
He recounted the events that took place leading up to the crash in front of an audience of reporters as well as Minister of Health, YB Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.
Captain Fedzrol stated that the helicopter was taking its usual route from Kampung Gawin to Kampung Raja which would allow him to fly into Ipoh after.
“It already started raining when we reached Kampung Raja so I was forced to retreat to a location where the rain wasn’t as heavy, passing by the Titiwangsa Mountains nearby Cameron Highlands.”
“There were quite a few options to land at but we chose the closest,” said Captain Fedzrol to Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.
Right then, an abnormal burst of wind began rocking Captain Fedzrol’s helicopter violently. He added that he knew danger was imminent but did not say anything as he didn’t want his passengers to panic.
“I tried to control the helicopter to the best of my abilities but unfortunately it got gradually harder to steer. Our chopper kept going upwards when I attempted to make it descend.”
Captain Fedzrol also added that he tried switching courses but unfortunately failed when his helicopter was met with a strong gust – pushing him and his passengers into the direction of the nearby mountains approximately 5000ft above air.
“At this point, I knew I couldn’t control it and had my foot down to the brake as the helicopter was already in bad condition to fly at the time.”
Once the chopper got too close to the mountains, Captain Fedzrol made a call to pull an emergency landing using all his piloting knowledge, ensuring that the plane would land on its tail-end to minimise the overall impact for the passengers inside.
After the crash, he lost consciousness for an unstated amount of time and only regained it after hearing people calling out “captain” repeatedly and was the last person to be dragged out of the plane.
“I think what’s most important to me is that everybody is safe, and I’m very sorry that this happened. Perhaps there was a mistake on my part as well. Nevertheless, this is what Allah willed.”
Despite the horrific incident he faced, Captain Fedzrol is still in high spirits to return to his job as a pilot after he’s fully recovered and intends to further hone his piloting skills.
He ended the interview jokingly by saying – “If they asked me to fly tomorrow, I’ll fly.”
As of right now all 6 victims have been transferred from Hospital Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom and are currently being treated at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun.