Investigation into alleged act of sabotage of a private aircraft


1. The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has conducted an investigation following Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s allegation of sabotage against his private aircraft. Sabotage against an aircraft is an extremely serious allegation, which CAAB is duty bound to investigate thoroughly.

2. The said aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger CL60 registered under Malta tail number 9H-VFD and operated by Vista Jet Limited, was reported as unable to depart from Subang to Langkawi on 27th April 2018.

3. Thereafter, following the allegation of sabotage, on 28th April CAAM conducted a thorough investigation, including a verification of the aircraft documentation, physical inspection of the aircraft, and interviews with the pilots and maintenance personnel of Tun Mahathir’s private aircraft.

4. The aircraft’s documentation found that there is no recent reported defect except for air leakage from the left hand nose wheel, which was logged on 27th April 2018.

5. CAAM was also informed by the maintenance personnel that they found the left hand nose wheel tyre pressure to be low.  They then serviced the tyre, and on monitoring the tyre pressure, found the tyre pressure to be dropping at 2psi per minute.

6. CAAM noted from the VistaJet technical/journey log, page number 55778, that an entry was made by Vista Jet on 27th April 2018 stating that there was air leakage from the left hand nose tyre. However, the replacement of the tyre was unable to be carried out due to the non-availability of spares.

7. CAAM also performed an inspection of the left nose wheel tyre, which matched and verified the reports of the aircraft’s maintenance personnel.

8. Following our through investigation, CAAM has found that there was no indication whatsoever of any sabotage. The aircraft was unable to fly only due to a minor and routine technical fault, namely air leakage from the left hand nose wheel.

9. Allegations of sabotage against an aircraft are extremely serious, and could impact the reputation of Malaysian aviation and the country as a whole, especially in this sensitive general election period. It is morally wrong to make such wild and false allegations for the sake of political gain.