|The wreckage of the Christen Eagle aircraft in a housing area near the airport in Padang, west Sumatra.|
KUALA LUMPUR: A retired Royal Malaysian Air Force senior officer was killed after the aircraft he was piloting crashed during an air show in Padang, west Sumatra, yesterday.
Col (Rtd) Zakaria Salleh, 58, from Taman Tasik Puteri, Rawang, was doing a solo aerobatic show at the Minang Aerosport 2011, when his Christen Eagle aircraft crashed about 6pm (Indonesian time).
Col (Rtd) Zakaria Salleh.
Royal Selangor Flying Club (RSFC) treasurer Mohammad Khairul Abd Samad said Zakaria, who was also the club's captain, went into a spin during the performance and could not recover.
"Zakaria and four other RSFC members flew to the Indonesian air force base in Padang this morning (yesterday) to take part in the international air show.
"He was doing a solo flight when the aircraft went out of control and crashed in a housing area near the airport.
"He was pronounced dead soon after he was brought to a nearby hospital.
"The aircraft crashed into a drain in the housing area.
"No one else was injured or killed."
Khairul said Zakaria, who was also the Malaysian Aviation Sports Federation's vice-president (light aircraft), last served as a jet-fighter pilot with the RMAF's F5E Squadron before he retired several years ago.
"It's very sad as his wife saw the whole incident."
Malaysian Consul General in Medan Norlin Othman confirmed the incident and said efforts were being made to bring the victim's body home tomorrow.
A Wisma Putra official here confirmed that they had been informed of the incident by RSFC and were awaiting a full report on the incident. - NST