Bodies of RMAF pilots found, jet missing

HawkPETALING JAYA: Two Royal Malaysian Air Force pilots were killed after their aircraft, a Hawk 108, was believed to have crashed shortly after they lost contact with the Kuantan airbase.

RMAF’s search and rescue operations found the pilots still with their parachute bags in a swamp area in Chukai, in Kemaman, Terengganu.

Major Mohd Hasri Zahari (left) and Major Yazmi Mohamed.

They were identified as Major Yazmi Mohamed, 39, and Major Mohd Hasri Zahari, 31. Yazmi has 19 years experience as a pilot, while, Hasri has been a pilot for 13 years.

RMAF chief General Affendi Buang however, said the aircraft has not be found.

The bodies of the two pilots are being brought to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan hospital in Kuantan for a post mortem.

“This is the fifth accident involving the Hawk 108,” Affendi said at a press conference.

Earlier today RMAF launched a search and rescue operation after it lost contact with one of its Hawk Mk108 aircraft near the Pahang-Terengganu border.

The aircraft left the Kuantan air base at 11am but lost contact about 30 minutes later.

RMAF has two variations of the BAE Systems-made Hawk aircraft. The Hawk 108 is the two-seater variant used primarily as an advanced jet trainer, while the Hawk 208 is a single-seat aircraft, which is used in Malaysia for light attack and as a point-air defence fighter.

News of the death of the two pilots comes just six months after a Beechcraft King Air 200T, also belonging to the RMAF, crashed at its air base in Butterworth on Dec 21, killing a pilot and injuring three others.