1997 Flight BI238 Royal Brunei Crash

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On Saturday, 6th September 1997, flight BI238, a Dornier 228-212 operating for Royal Brunei Airlines leased from Merpati Intan which plied the Labuan - Bandar Seri Begawan - Miri route on a regular basis, crashed in Lambir Hills.

The plane took off from Bandar Seri Begawan at 7:03pm under visual conditions at night, flew towards Miri airport and about to approach from the southern side of the runway with the last contact being the crew requesting clearance to land. The traffic controller in Miri cleared the flight for the final approach to runway 02, but did not receive any replies. The Dornier was found the next morning; it had struck treetops and slammed into the slope midway up Lambir Hill (at 500m). The weather in the area at the time had been fine.

There were no survivors in the 1997 crash that killed ten. All passengers and crew aboard was killed in the plane crash. Passenger list included four Malaysian nationals, two Japanese, one Singaporean and one Sri Lankan. The crew consisted of two Malaysian pilots.

One of the Japanese passengers was the late Professor Tamiji Inoue. He was on his way to visit his field station newly established in the very same Lambir Park for an international project - CBPS, the Canopy Biology Program in Sarawak.

A search and rescue team was deployed during the night, with the Royal Brunei Armed Force sending a helicopter with winching facility and civilian helicopters participating in the search as well but the wreckage was only discovered the next morning. As a result of this crash the flight service between Bandar Seri Begawan and Miri had been suspended indefinitely.

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