Pilot dies on his 45th birthday

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KUALA LUMPUR – “Today is Major Kayamboo’s 45th birthday, and sadly he died in a plane crash this afternoon,” said a colleague of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilot who perished when a Beechcraft B200T plane crashed near the munitions terminal of the Butterworth airbase here at 5.18pm today.

According to Major Hassan Basri Tajul Arifin, he felt totally at a loss because Kayamboo was such a cheerful person who was always willing to help anyone in need.

“Earlier this morning, I had a chat with him while we were at the Subang RMAF base but I forgot to wish him happy birthday,” he told Bernama here today.

Hassan, 37, who is based at No 2 Squadron, Subang, said Kayamboo who was from Penang and based in Subang, was a true officer willing to make great sacrifices for the sake of his job.

“Kayamboo was willing to leave his family up north while he dedicated his life to maintaining the nation’s security,” said Hassan who had known the pilot since 2003 and were both flying instructors in Alor Setar, Kedah at one time.

Hassan said Kayamboo was also a warm person and often greeted everyone, even if they were lower rank staff.

“He loved his wife and children dearly as he often shared with me his precious moments with them,” he said.

He said Kayamboo would always be remembered for making things easy for others.

In the 5.18pm incident today, a Beechcraft B200T aircraft crashed at the Butterworth RMAF Base, killing the pilot, while three others were injured. A police source said the body of the pilot and all the injured were taken to Seberang Jaya Hospital in Penang.

In BUTTERWORTH, Kayamboo’s wife, S. Usha, 42, when met at the hospital could not hold back tears and was seen to be comforted by several of her family members.

Usha, who is a nurse at a health clinic here, said she talked to her husband until almost midnight last night, about her plan to celebrate his birthday today.

“We are all sad and devastated when informed about the incident and could not really accept what just happened,” she said.

— BERNAMA

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