Ten Dead After Horrific Mid-Air Collision Between Royal Malaysian Navy Helicopters

Malaysia Helicopter crash
In the background, the wreckage of the crashed AW139. (Photo: Perak Fire and Rescue Department) In the boxes: the AW139 and AS555 (Photo: Royal Malaysian Navy). Highlighted the two helicopters after the midair.

An AW139 and an AS555 crashed after they collided during the rehearsal of the parade for the 90th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Two helicopters of the Royal Malaysian Navy collided earlier today during the rehearsal of Saturday’s military parade for the service’s 90th anniversary. The videos which immediately circulated on social media show seven helicopters maneuvering for what seems a formation break in front of the attendance, before two of them clipped their main rotors and crashed.

The mishap happened at Lumut Naval Base and involved an AS555SN Fennec, assigned to the local 502 Squadron with registration M502-6, and an AW139, assigned to the 503 Squadron from Kota Kinabalu Naval Base with registration M503-2. The AW139 crashed into an empty sports field, while the Fennec crashed into a swimming pool.

Ten people lost their lives, of which three were flying on the AS555 and seven on the AW139. The victims included three women and seven men aged between 26 and 41, according to the Associated Press. A person was also reportedly injured by the debris of the Fennec near the swimming pool.

“All victims were confirmed dead on site and the remains were sent to the [Lumut] Military Hospital for identification,” said the Royal Malaysian Navy. Defense Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that the anniversary celebration will be cancelled and replaced with a commemoration for the victims during the Friday prayers.

The service added that it would an investigation into the cause of the incident. “I was informed that an immediate investigation will be carried out by the Ministry of Defense, especially TLDM (Royal Malaysian Navy), to find the cause of the crash,” said Prime minister Anwar Ibrahim while sending his condolences to the families of the victims.

About Stefano D'Urso
Stefano D'Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he's also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.