SHAH ALAM: RMAF conducted a simulated crash-landing exercise at a school field here on November 21 using a No 2 Skuadron Black Hawk – M46-01 – helicopter. The RMAF two Black Hawks are colloquially known as the White Hawk as they are painted white.
Videos and pictures of the exercise was published by the school – SMK TTDI Jaya, Shah Alam – on its Facebook page. The school is located some 1km from Subang RMAF airbase which shared the same runway as the Subang airport.
From the videos uploaded, the exercise was the real thing with a fire engine hosing down simulated fires and Handau personnel arresting a member of the public for breaching the crime scene cordon (also simulated). Smoke grenades were also used to simulate an explosion and fire on the helicopter.
What is interesting about the exercise is the use of the White Hawk which I believe, was the first time that the helicopter was used for such purpose. I believed the helicopter and its sister ship – M46-02 – are still operated by the No 2 Skuadron but no longer tasked operationally by the Prime Minister’s Department. The department still controlled the other VIP jets in the squadron though.
With the Agong and PMX using private helicopters for local trips, I think, the end is near for the VIP Black Hawks. What about turning them back into utility helicopters then? I wrote about this, a few years back. I was told by industry sources then it was too expensive to convert back them into utility helicopters.
Meanwhile, an EC-725 -tail number M55-05 – from the No 5 Skuadron conducted the High-Altitude Operation Exercise on Mount Kinabalu on November 16 to 17. The squadron also used a portable oxygen tank from No 1 Squadron (based in Kuching) to ensure safe flight operations at altitude above 10,000 feet.
RMAF release quoted the No 5 Skuadron commander – Lt Kol Ahmad Tarmizi Sokri – the exercise will be conducted biannually to ensure the competencies of the air crew and support personnel are maintained. For the exercise, No 5 Skuadron utilise five aircraft commanders, four co-pilots, eight quarter masters, four technicians, four air combat rescue personnel and two medics. For the exercise, the helicopter used a landing site in Kundasang as a forward operating base with two landing pads on the mountain itself.
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