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