It was not until I received a mail from one of my former classmates that I actually begin to follow the development of the incident. I was left wordless when I read that mail, sent to our class of 95 yahoo mail-group. The mail talks about the recently crashed landed Nuri helicopter… the pilot was our former classmate, Kapten Nor Azlan Termuzi.
As some of you may know, the military helicopter went missing last Friday 10 minutes after taking off and the wreckage was found mid of yesterday. There were 6 on-board the helicopter, none survived. Me and my former classmates lost a friend today.
The reason why I did not pay much attention to the missing helicopter until I know Azlan was piloting it was because Nuri helicopter crashes bear much resemblance to haze in this counter… they happen rather frequent, so frequent that it warrants a “huh, crash again?” reaction. We are either fed up with it, or just couldn’t be bothered as it doesn’t concern us. To me, it was both.
How frequent are the crashes if you may asked...
Well, inclusive of Azlan and his crew, 67 people have died in 11 crashes (I counted them from statistics shown in today’s Star newspaper). The first crash happened 1 year after the Nuri was introduced to the Malaysian Air Force, with 3 crashes and 2 emergency landings in the last 4 years alone.
Is there something seriously wrong with these helicopters? Of course not!! As reported in today’s news … “The Nuris have been properly maintained and are in good condition”. Hence, despite all these crashes, the Nuris will not be grounded. There will be an investigation done on this latest crash and then they will decide whether the Nuris will be grounded.
Wait a minute… shouldn’t they be grounding these helicopters until they are proven safe and not flying them until they are proven dangerous. Oh yeah, I forgot, this is just our way of doing things. Besides, all those who are dead are not some big shot VIP but just our regular soldiers. Also, the Nuris are just 40 years old and since we still got more than 20 of them… yeah, don’t ground ‘em… just crash ‘em… crash ‘em all…
To Azlan, I will always remember you as that guy who ran in the 5,000 metres race during the 1994 sports day and emerged second. And when I saw how tired you were, I asked how they hell are you going to run in the 100m and 400m sprint… you smiled and said “Jangan takut”.
Azlan emerged as champion in the 100m and 400m sprint.
May you rest in peace my friend.