Selamat Jalan Fulcrum, Part II

SHAH ALAM: IN my previous posting – Selamat Jalan, Fulcrum A Photo Tribute – I stated that the future of RMAF Fulcrums remained uncertain as there was no official word on its future. Recently, the decision to award the squadron colours to the sole Fulcrum unit – No 17 Skuadron – however do indicate a lifeline.

Unfortunately, even as the colours presentation ceremony was postponed indefinitely – RMAF Colonel in Chief the Sultan of Pahang was unwell – the fate of the Fulcrums is now somewhat more clearer. According to RMAF chief Jen Roslan Saad, the Fulcrums was under a draw-down.

No 17 Skuadron Fulcrums - M40-10- and M40-16 - taking part in the rehearsal on Feb 25, 2016.
No 17 Skuadron Fulcrums – M40-10- and M40-16 – taking part in the rehearsal on Feb 25, 2016.

He declined to be more specific as in previous occasions but it is likely that Fulcrums will not see past its 21st year in service with RMAF. RMAF reluctance to state the exact date of the retirement has been covered here.

NO 17 Skuadron crest. Taken from the squadron banner.
NO 17 Skuadron crest. Taken from the squadron banner.

Asked why the squadron was awarded the colours even though the aircraft was to be retired in the near future, Roslan said “The squadron deserve the colours, they had done their duties.

CN235-220M M44-05 on static at Subang airbase today.
CN235-220M M44-05 on static at Subang airbase today.

Roslan was met after a Press conference at the Subang airbase where the colours ceremony was to be held. Apart from the No 17, three other flight squadrons, No 16, No 18 and No 20 together with the RMAF Regiment (Paskau) were supposed to be awarded their colours at the ceremony today.

No 16 Skuadron crest.
No 16 Skuadron crest.

No 16 Sqdn flies the Beechcraft B200T MPA, the 18th the Hornets and the 20th, the Hercules.

A plaque signifying the 18th Sqdn connection with the US Marines.
A plaque signifying the 18th Sqdn connection with the US Marines.

Meawnhile, Roslan told the press conference that the FDR and CVR of the CN235-220M MM44-07 which ditched near Kuala Selangor on Friday, have been recovered. Both devices – better known as black boxes although they are usually finished in bright orange – are in a good condition and the RMAF expected to get a valuable insight into what led into the mishap.

RMAF CN235-220M M44-07 during the fly past rehearsal on Feb 25.
RMAF CN235-220M M44-07 during the fly past rehearsal on Feb 25.

Roslan said the black boxes will be sent to the Indonesian Aerospace later today for further inspection and recovery of the data. The inquiry into the mishap had already started with interviews with some of the eight crew members . The aircraft was part of the fly-past rehearsal for the Colours ceremony.

Checks on two of the CN-235s from the 1st Squadron showed no anomaly which could explain the Friday’s mishap, according to Roslan. With the mishap, RMAF is left with 7 CN-235 in its book.

— Malaysian Defence

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