The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has rejected claims that its Hawk 108 fighter jet that crashed in a swamp area in Cukai, Kemaman last Thursday, was known to be encountering problems.
The RMAF headquarters in a statement issued today said the aircraft had gone through a post-maintenance flight test two days before the tragic incident.
“The RMAF will not compromise on its aircraft safety and airworthiness, and has always stressed on the highest-level maintenance under its supervision,” it said.
According to the statement, the RMAF had found pieces of the wreckage from the ill-fated Hawk 108, besides the two ejection seats.
It said the search for other parts of the wreckage would continue to complete its investigation into the cause of the crash.
The statement also said that the RMAF search team was facing problems in conducting the operation due to the terrain and soft ground, apart from the search location being swampy.
However, the RMAF has received assistance from various agencies including the Malaysian Army, Royal Engineers Regiment, Royal Malaysian Police and the Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE).
The two RMAF pilots killed in the air crash were Major Hasri Zahari, 31, and Major Yazmi Mohamed Yusof, 39.
The fighter jet left the Kuantan RMAF base at 11am on that day (June 15) and lost communication half an hour later before the bodies of the two victims were found at 2.30pm at a swamp forest in Kampung Yak Yah, Chukai, Kemaman. – Bernama