LIMA 2015 Begins With A Bang

Two days before the opening ceremony of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace 2015 (LIMA 2015), two KT-1B Wongbee aicraft belonging to the Indonesian Air Force’s Jupiter Aerobatic Team clipped wings in what seemed to be an “opposing solo” maneuver and crashed off site, with one aircraft hitting the ground causing two houses to catch fire. All four pilots ejected safely.

The Yogyakarta-based team are here in Langkawi to perform at LIMA 2015 and were practising when the incident occured. All pilots are safe while no injury has been reported on the ground.  The pilots were evacuated by a RMaF EC-725 and the Fire and Rescue Services Department’s Mi-172 helicopters.

This is the second incident involving aerobatic teams during practice for a LIMA series. In 1991, a RMAF Pilatus PC-7 from the Tamingsari aerobatics team crashed into the back of a house in Kepala Batas, Alor Setar, Kedah while performing a twinkle at the end of a “bomb burst” formation for the inaugural LIMA exhibition. The pilot died on the spot.

The aerial displays will carry on in spite of the incident.

Sources of photos: Twitter, Agendadaily and Berita Harian.

In a related development, the Defence Minister of Malaysia, Hishammuddin Hussein, and the Defence Minister of Indonesia, Gen (Rtd) Ryamizard Ryacudu, visited the pilots who are being treated at the Langkawi Hospital.  Both Malaysia and Indonesia will conduct a joint investigation into the incident.

Source of photo: Malaysian Ministry of Defence