PDRM AW139 Crashed in Tawau

SHAH ALAM: A PDRM AW139 helicopter crashed whilst trying to land in Tawau, early last night. The helicopter tail number 9M-PMC suffered serious damage with all six crew and passengers suffering injuries though none were life threatening. The helicopter was about to land on a helipad at the PGA 14 Battalion camp in Tawau when the incident occurred about 7.40pm.

There is nothing to suggest that this was anything but an accident. The helicopter was flying from Lahad Datu to Tawau, stopping over at the Tawau airport for refuelling before flying back to the PGA camp.

PDRM AW139 9M-PMC after it crash landed at Tawau. Internet

This was the second crash involving an AgustaWestland AW139 in the country since 2011 when another AW139 crashed at Subang airport. That one is operated by Weststar Group.

PDRM Air Wing AW139 9M-PMC taken in Mar. 2017.

9M-PMC was one of two AW139 delivered to PDRM in 2016 after the contract was signed in 2015. The other is tail number, 9M-PMB. The third aircraft with the tail number, 9M-PMA, was delivered in 2018.

PDRM AW139 9M-PMB on display at LIMA 17

It appears that although PDRM was supposed to get another three AW139s, the deal has not happened. It must be noted that the announcement for the deal was made in March, 2018, just two months before the 2018 general election. I guessed that the deal was nixed as soon as the then Pakatan Harapan government reviewed the pending contracts with the Home Ministry.

The PDI ceremony for PDRM latest AW139. Picture taken in September 2018.

The AW139 has proven popular with Malaysian government agencies with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) operating three and Bomba, two helicopters.

MMEA AW139 M72-03. Apart from its duty with APMM, the helicopter is also used for various other duties. Picture taken in late 2013. Malaysian Defence

I have been told that it is likely another bunch of AW139s will be operated by another two government agencies but that’s a story for another day. An another reversal by the previous government will also see a completely new type to be operated in Malaysia later this year.

–Malaysian Defence

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