DCA issues new FOD for foreign pilots flying helicopter in Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has issued new Flight Operation Directives (FOD) which regulate foreign pilots flying helicopters in Malaysia for the purpose of commercial air transport.

The FOD, which come into force immediately, was issued following the safety recommendations made by Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) Malaysia in its final report on the investigation of the helicopter accident in Batang Lupar, Sarawak in April 2016.

DCA director-general, Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said it would serve as a measure undertaken by DCA to address the safety recommendations made by AAIB and to prevent future accidents or incidents.

"This is to note that the directives are issued by the DCA following the engagement with the aviation industry on the matter," he said in a statement, here today.

Under the new FOD, no operator of a Malaysian or non-Malaysian helicopter shall cause or permit a foreign pilot to fly its helicopter in Malaysia for the purpose of commercial air transport unless the pilot possessed a minimum 1,000 hours on any type of helicopter.

Azharuddin said foreign pilots are also required to complete a Crew Resource Management (CRM), even as a single pilot visual flight rules (VFR) operations.

Foreign pilots are also required to undergo a minimum of 10 hours flying under supervision of a Malaysian pilot who holds a valid Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) to familiarise himself with the terrain and weather pattern of the operations area which he intends to fly.

In the case of short term employment or any other related arrangements of less than three months, foreign pilots would be required to fly at least 25 hours in a helicopter of the same type which he intended to fly, for the last six months.

The pilots are also required to conduct a minimum of three take-offs, approaches and landings in a helicopter of the same type which he intend to fly, for the last 90 days; and has completed a minimum of three days induction course organised by the operator.

On May 5, 2016, a helicopter carrying six people who left Betong for Kuching at 4.12pm, crashed shortly after take-off at Sungai Batang Lupar.

The six people killed were Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Noriah Kasnon and her husband, Asmuni Abdullah, Noriah's bodyguard Ahmad Sobri Harun; Kuala Kangsar Member of Parliament ,Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad; Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai and Filipino pilot Rudolf Rex Ragas. — Bernama