KUALA LUMPUR, The Facebook page of ‘503 Squadron’ has been showered with posts from netizens offering prayers and condolences to the families of all the victims who died in the crash involving two helicopters at the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Base in Lumut, Perak earlier today.

The Facebook page went viral after a post uploaded four days ago showing several photos of the squadron sending two Maritime Operations Helicopters (HOM-AW139) together with nine aircrew and 11 aircraft technicians to Lumut to participate in the fly-past at KD Pelandok in conjunction with the RMN’s 90th Anniversary Day Parade on April 27.

One of the four images uploaded showed five RMN personnel waving goodbye to their departing comrades from the Naval base in Teluk Sepanggar to Lumut, truly touching the hearts of netizens.

Even more soul-stirring was the image accompanied by the caption: “A meaningful wave from some of the crew left behind, after this, maybe they can always return early? Who knows, but we can still hope for the be

A Facebook user, Mohamad Taufik, left a comment: “Their final wave. Tears fell seeing their picture. Deepest condolences and Al-Fatihah to the crew of the crashed helicopter. May Allah grant the highest rank to the victims.”

Syafiq Wahab also commented: “Rest in peace, our national heroes. May Allah forgive all their sins and place them among the believers and admit them to Paradise without any reckoning or punishment. The people of Malaysia pray for your well-being. Accept our salute.”

Muhd Iqbal reacted: “Oh Allah. This picture touches the heart. Place these national warriors among the believers. Amen, Oh Allah,” while Mart Shap said: “My tears fell… we lost 10 national heroes at once.”

Meanwhile, another social media user, Ummusa Alawiyah Ahmad, commented that the incident had also caught the attention of the international media: “Already on the 6 o’clock news in Sydney, 9News Australia. ‘Allahhummaghfirlahum Warhamhum’…Amen from us in the diaspora (Australia)’.

In the tragedy at 9.32 am, 10 membe
rs of the RMN including the Commanding Officer of Squadron 503 Commander Muhammad Firdaus Ramli were confirmed dead.

Meanwhile, in KOTA KINABALU, it was sadness and sorrow for the colleagues and friends of the 503 Squadron members who perished in the crash.

Eastern Fleet Command Headquarters Public Relations Officer Lt Commander Mohd Fadzhil Salleh said it was all doom and gloom as soon as news of the crash reached the base.

Apart from Muhammad Firdaus, who was also the pilot of the HOM-AW139 aircraft, the others who perished from the 503 Squadron were Lt Commander Wan Rezaudeen Kamal Wan Zainal Abidin, Lt Commander Mohammad Amirulfaris Mohamad Marzukhi and Warrant Officer II TLR (AQM) Muhammad Faisol Tamadun.

Having been closely acquainted with Muhammad Firdaus, Mohd Fadzhil admitted that he felt the loss of a very good friend, who liked to help people and always smiled cheerfully.

“I truly feel the loss with the passing of the deceased. When we heard the news of the incident, tears flowed from our eyes
, as we shared both good and bad times and fulfilled our responsibilities as RMN personnel. The bond of brotherhood is indeed very strong and unforgettable,” he said in an emotional tone when contacted by Bernama today.

Mohd Fadzhil said he had often worked closely with the late Muhammad Firdaus in arranging media aerial surveys, the latest being during the recent Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

“The helicopter rides were very smooth when he was handling it, showing his competence and experience. Moreover, the crew always felt safe and comfortable in the helicopter operated by him,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency