IPOH: The pilot who landed his helicopter on an open field in Ipoh in July last year, reportedly to collect packets of nasi kandar, was charged at a magistrate’s court on Monday (May 9) for failing to adhere to his flight path.
Bernama reported that Mohamed Raffe K. Chekku was charged with committing the offence between 9.50am and 10am on Jul 23, 2021.
Mohamed Raffe, who is also a company director, pleaded not guilty. His case will be mentioned again on Jul 23.
According to the charge sheet, his action was in violation of Rule 77(2) of the Commercial Flight Regulations 2016.
Mohamed Raffe had failed to adhere to the rules stipulated under the Civil Aviation Directives when he landed his Bell 505 helicopter in a location other than an aerodrome as stated in the flight plan.
If found guilty, Mohamed Raffe faces a RM50,000 (US$11,400) fine or up to three years’ jail or both.
The Star reported that magistrate Jesseca Daimis fixed bail at RM5,000.
Mohamed Raffe’s lawyer had requested for a bail of the said amount, stating that his client had been cooperating with police investigations.
In July 2021, Perak police said that they were investigating a case of a helicopter landing on Ipoh’s open field to collect packets of popular rice dish nasi kandar for a customer in Kuala Lumpur.
The pilot was believed to have picked up 36 packets of the nasi kandar dish, popularly known as nasi ganja (cannabis).
Police had recorded the statements of the police station chief who gave the green light, as well as the complainant, the food premises owner and the helicopter company owner.
Media reports quoting the police as saying that the helicopter was only given permission to travel interstate for maintenance.
Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that Mohamed Raffe is the managing director of LATAR, the concession company that operates the Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Expressway.
He was quoted by the portal as saying he was shocked at the charge against him because records showed that his landing was done with the relevant Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearances.