Kapar air crash report: Aircraft flown despite two grounding orders

KUALA LUMPUR: The preliminary crash report on the Kapar air crash on Feb 13 found that the aircraft continued to be flown during the period when the aircraft was supposed to be grounded.

The Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) in its preliminary report said there were two grounding orders issued for the aircraft.

"On Oct 25 2023, Blackshape S.p.A. informed the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about an occurrence to the fuel selector indication system of the BK 160TR aircraft (registration I-POOC) of which the owner is Blackshape.

"Blackshape informed that considering that, only one BK160TR had been delivered at the time and the owner of the particular aircraft (I-POOC) was Blackshape themselves, the aircraft was to be grounded while waiting for the root cause of the fuel selector indication system issue to be identified and actions taken to resolve the issue.

"There was another aircraft grounding instruction issued by Blackshape earlier on May 27, 2023."

The report said the apparent reason for this aircraft grounding instruction was the issue concerning the transfer of ownership and registration of the aircraft to the purchaser of the aircraft, which was Sky Media Ltd, Hong Kong.

"Whether this aircraft grounding instruction issued on 27 May 2023, as well as the later instruction on Oct 25 2023, were properly communicated to and clearly understood by all the relevant parties, shall be determined with the availability of further relevant evidence and will be made known in the final report.

"However irrespective of whether the grounding instructions were communicated and understood clearly by the relevant parties, it can be ascertained with available evidence that the BK 160TR (I-POOC) had continued to be flown during the period when the aircraft was supposed to be grounded."

It also said that the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) was not aware of the issuance of any aircraft grounding instruction that may have jeopardised the airworthiness status of the BK 160TR (I-POOC) during the time the aircraft operated in Malaysia.

The AAIB added that circumstances on why the aircraft had continued to be operated despite the grounding orders, and the consequent impact on the aircraft's airworthiness status, will be determined as further evidence is made available.

As such, the preliminary report recommended that the CAAM implement appropriate measures that provide closer scrutiny on non-scheduled flight operation in Malaysia by foreign registered aircraft and foreign licensed aircrew to ensure safe operation.

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