LANGKAWI: LIMA 2009, Preview. This is my first posting from Langkawi. No updates yet but I would like to offer to offer condolences to the families of the three paratroopers killed in today’s incident. It was an accident that could have been avoided.
The wind around Langkawi has been gusting for more than 20 knots in the last few days. Note the sound of the wind as I took the video, the ill-fated jump happened just around 20 hours earlier. My plane landed at Langkawi about one hour late as the airport was closed due to the incident. Our AirAsia A320 scabbed right and left as it approached the runway due to the strong winds, and this occurred about three hours after the jump.
Not even the fast jet pilots woud like to fly in this weather, let alone to para drop soldiers in static line just above the 1500 feet from the ground.Compounding the mistake (I know the Army said the wind was below the safe limit but I wonder whether the speed at the drop height was the same at ground level) was the fact that as usual the emergency services were not ready, the soldiers who were blown by the wind had to be rescued by fishermen.
As a result the three died of hypothermia.Of course it was difficult to locate 138 paratroopers who were scattered like toys the moment they were dropped from their transporters but it would have been easier to get to them if rescue boats were deployed in the seas in case of such a possibility. What a total snafu. Rescue boats, were deployed the day after and during the Lima air show. Another case of too little too late.
If it was a combat jump. I would say go for it but a training cum demonstration exercise?
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