MASwings’s Canadian made DHC-6 Twin Otter planes has an unenviable crashing history. The commuter airline started on October 2007, had its first plane crashed less than a year later and from 2011 to 2013 the airline’s ageing Twin Otter planes have been involved in a number of crash-landing, skidded on various runaways in Sarawak.
Kudat’s fatal crash-landing was probably the unluckiest of all the airlines reported cases of crash-landings, skiddings. Two precious lives were lost, that of the plane co-pilot and a passenger. MASwings is a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, first crash was at the Lun Bawang heartland of Ba Kelalan on Sept 13, 2008 – before its first anniversary.
After a few years of lapsed, another MASwings’s Twin Otter crash-landed at Lawas airport, followed by another case of skidding off Marudi runaway, purportedly due to over-breaking.
There is no official explanation, report of what causing the Marudi incident and all previous incidents had been made public ever since.
And with all the tracks record to show, we are left wondering why MASwings still adamant in keeping the ageing planes flying?
In fact, MASwings still see the planes fit to fly and said they are the best planes to service rural areas of Sabah and Sarawak.
“The Twin Otters were more practical for short takeoff and landing (STOL) operations in rural airstrips like Marudi, Bario,” MASwing chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nawawi Awang told Bernama last January.
Instead of phasing out the Twin Otter, MASwings are adding more new Twin Otter (DHC6) aircraft, to its fleet.
Apparently MASwing had ignore numerous appeals from various stakeholders including assemblymen for the airlines to replace the DHC-6 Twin Otter planes with other planes types.
Immediately after the Marudi accident in 2012, Telang Usang assemblyman Dennis Ngau urged MASwings to replace the ageing aircraft with new ones.
“Air travel is the most preferred mode of transport in northern Sarawak covering Miri and Limbang due to geographical factors, with mostly highland and no tar-sealed road, in those areas,” Baru Bian told Bernama.
Meanwhile let’s wait and see what’s coming after the fatal Kudat crash.