Helicopter that crashed in Malaysia registered to PH firm
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine aviation authorities confirmed on Saturday, May 7, that the helicopter that crashed in Sarawak, Malaysia, is registered to a Philippine firm based in Cebu. (READ: Missing Malaysia helicopter debris found – PM)
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed in a statement that a Philippine-registered helicopter operated by GCA Skyline Aviation Incorporated (Skyline Aviation) crashed in Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo on May 5.
CAAP said that according to its operation rescue and coordinating center, Skyline Aviation reported that their “single-engine light Helicopter AS350B with registration number RP-C6828 piloted by Filipino pilot Captain Rudolph Rex Raagas that had gone missing was located by Malaysian Search and Rescue teams.”
Founded in 2013 in Cebu, Skyline Aviation offers chartered flights for VIPs and sight-seeing tours as well as aerial surveys and medical evacuations.
The Eurocopter AS350 was ferrying Malaysian deputy minister Noriah Kasnon, her husband Asmuni Abdullah and parliament member Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad from the state's interior to the state capital Kuching when it went missing Thursday.
Reports said that the Sarawak Search and Rescue teams found a body still strapped to a seat, 10 kilometers from the center of the search and rescue area on May 6.
The body was later confirmed to belong to Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry Secretary General Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai.
Another body was found in Lingga and was brought to the Sarawak General Hospital for identification.
A third body was identified as Ahmad Sobri Harum, bodyguard of Datuk Noriah Kasnon.
The CAAP said that search and rescue operations for the 3 remaining passengers, including Filipino pilot Raagas, are still ongoing.
On Skyline Aviation’s website, Raagas was described as the firm’s chief pilot with with nearly 30 years of flight experience having flown in the Philippines and French Polynesia and had trained in the United States and Singapore. He was credited with 7,500 flying hours flying both single and multi-engine helicopters. – Rappler.com