Sunday, July 29, 2012

S'pore pilot trainee dies in crash in Malaysia

A Cessna light single-seat aircraft piloted by a Singaporean man crashed into a private oil palm plantation in Ayer Baloi today at about 1.30pm.

The pilot was identified as Samuel Ling Shi Min, 25, Pontian police said. His body was found under the plane wreck in the plantation, Malaysian police official Wan Razani Wan Ibrahim said.

Mr Ling, who was alone in the aircraft, is believed to have died on impact, reported The Straits Times. He is also believed to be on a training flight and had taken off from FRAS Flying Club, a private flight school in the state of Johor, according to media reports.

Pontian Police deputy chief DSP Tan Moh Chuan said that Mr Ling's body had been taken to Pontian Hospital.

The plane went down in clear weather, according to Officer Wan Razani. Malaysian's Department of Civil Aviation is investigating the cause of the crash. The crash site is an hour's drive from the Tuas Second Link Highway.

An eyewitness, Mohd Shafian Buang, 15, told a Malaysian news agency that he saw the plane circling in the air before crashing about 100 metres from his house.

He and some neighbours ran near the scene, however they did not get close to the aircraft fearing it would explode as they smelled fuel. Mohd Shafian related the incident to his uncle who notified the police.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it is in contact with the next-of-kin of the deceased Singaporean and extends condolences to his family, according to local media reports. MFA has also sent consular staff to the crash site to provide necessary assistance.

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