Pilots killed in fighter jet crash

KUANTAN (The Star/ANN) - Two pilots were killed when a fighter jet crashed yesterday. 

Two pilots were killed when a fighter jet crashed into a swamp forest.

The Hawk 108 took off from the RMAF base here at 11 am yesterday and disappeared from radar about half an hour later.

The plane is believed to have crashed in the swamp forest of Chukai, Terengganu, where the bodies of the two pilots were found.

RMAF chief Jeneral Datuk Seri Affendi Buang said the pilots were Mejar Yazmi Mohamed Yusof, 39, and Mejar Hasri Zahari, 31.

Their bodies were found at 2:30 pm in the forest, 53 kilometres north of the Kuantan airbase. Both pilots had parachutes attached to them, indicating that they had ejected from the aircraft.

“The bodies were found 20m apart. However, the plane has yet to be found. A search is ongoing,” he said at a press conference at the RMAF base here.

Jen Affendi said Mejar Yazmi had 19 years of experience and was an instructor while Mejar Hasri had 13 years of flight experience.

The bodies have been brought to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan for a post-mortem.

Mejar Yazmi from Kuala Lumpur left behind a wife and six children while Mejar Hasni from Jempol, Negri Sembilan, left behind a wife and child.

“We will make sure the welfare of the families are well taken care of,” said Jen Affendi.

In Kuala Lumpur, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has directed the RMAF to carry out a detailed investigation to identify the cause of the crash.

The Hawk 108 is a two-seater version of the Hawk 208 fighter jet, which was used in air strike missions in Lahad Datu during Ops Daulat in 2013.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak also conveyed his condolences to the families of the two pilots.

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