On Sunday morning (22 November), two Singaporean pilots flying a light aircraft made an emergency landing on the highway near Sedenak in the southern Malaysian state of Johor after encountering technical problems.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) said in a statements that the two pilots on board are “reportedly in stable condition” and that the aircraft has been “moved to a position that does not obstruct traffic on the highway”.
According to the CEO of CAAM, Captain Chester Voo, the private aircraft, a Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza, was operated by Premier Air Singapore. It was en route to Melaka from Seletar Airport, Singapore.
Captain Voo said that the Johor Air Traffic Control Tower received a call at 10.40am from the aircraft pilot requesting for a return landing at Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru due to technical problems.
“Search and rescue teams have completed all required tasks. The investigation will be conducted by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Transport Malaysia,” he added.
Johor police identified the two pilots on board as pilot Dr Yang Kuang Ying, 52, and co-pilot Saleehullah Abdul Majid, 41, as reported by CNA.
The police said in a statement that the pilots heard a sound from the plane’s engine at around 11.05am when they were 5,000 feet above ground.
The pilots decided to make an emergency landing at the 47.8km mark of the south-bound highway as they attempted to change the petrol tank.
However, the plane’s engine stopped functioning and the petrol gauge drop rapidly, the police said.
The incident did not result in any injury and no damage to public property was reported, the police added.
Pilots allowed to fly to clock hours, did not need to obtain travel permit to cross-border: Kulai district police
Local media The Star reported Kulai district police chief Superintendent Tok Beng Yeow as saying that the two pilots were on a routine flight to get their flying hours.
“They took off from Seletar Airport in Singapore to Melaka Airport in Batu Berendam in the morning prior to the incident.
“The pilots were on their second flight route, headed back towards Singapore, when the incident took place,” Supt Tok said.
He then said that based on investigations, the pilots did not need to get a travel permit to embark on a cross-border flight, as they had the permission to fly the aircraft to clock in their flying hours.
He added that the pilot is professional and has clocked 480 hours with 12 years of experience in flying.
As seen in a video uploaded by a netizen, local authorities were pushing the plane, which was obstructed the traffic in the highway to the roadside.
Netizens praise M’sia authorities
Penning their comments on CNA’s Facebook about the incident, many netizens praised the Malaysian authorities for their swift response and cooperation in helping to “save and protect the lives on the planes”.
Some netizens also commended the quick decision made by the pilots.
Other netizens raised concerns about whether the two pilots will need to serve quarantine after the incident.