SINGAPORE: Two Singaporean pilots flying a light aircraft made an emergency landing on a highway in Johor on Sunday morning (Nov 22).
The pilots were en route to Melaka from Seletar Airport in Singapore when they ran into technical problems, said Captain Chester Voo, CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) in a press release.
The pilots are reported to be in “stable condition” and the aircraft has been moved to a position that does not obstruct traffic on the highway, he added.
Captain Voo said the Johor air traffic control tower received a call at around 10.40am from the pilot asking for permission for a return landing at Senai International Airport due to technical problems.
The Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza aircraft later landed on the south-bound side of the North-South (PLUS) Expressway near Sedenak.
A search and rescue team that was deployed to the area has “completed all required tasks”, said Mr Voo.
An official statement from the Johor police identified the two Singaporean pilots as Dr Yang Kuang Ying and Mr Saleehullah Abdul Majid.
The police statement said that the pilots heard a sound from the plane’s engine at around 11.05am when they were at an altitude of 5,000 ft.
“The pilots attempted to change the petrol tank but the plane’s engine was no longer functioning. The petrol gauge fell rapidly,” the statement said.
The pilots then made a decision to make an emergency landing at the 47.8km mark of the south-bound highway, the statement added.
“The incident did not result in any injury and no damage to public property was reported,” Johor police added.
Police chief for Kulai, Superintendent Tok Beng Yeow, told local media on Sunday afternoon that Dr Yang and Mr Saleehullah were on a routine flight to clock flying hours. They were travelling from Seletar Airport in Singapore to Batu Berendam Airport in Melaka.
He added that the pair had completed the first round, and made the emergency landing at the incident location while they were on their second round flying towards Singapore.
“Based on investigations, the pilots had permission and did not require additional documents to cross state lines to do the flight to clock flying hours,” said Superintendent Tok.
“They were not trainees. The pilots are professional and have 12 years of experience, with 480 hours of flying time clocked,” he added.
An investigation will be conducted by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau under Malaysia’s Transport Ministry.