Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has conveyed his condolences to the families of the two pilots found dead after a Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk 108 fighter jet went missing after taking off from the RMAF Kuantan base today.
The Prime Minister said a thorough investigation would be conducted into the tragedy.
Pilots Major Yazmi Mohamed Yusof, 39, and Major Hasri Zahari, 31, of the No 6 Squadron at the RMAF Labuan base, were found dead in a swamp forest near Chukai, Terengganu, at 2.30 pm after they had taken off from the RMAF Kuantan base at 11 am. The jet went missing 30 minutes later.
“Inalillah. Received the sad news of the two missing pilots having been found dead. Condolences to the families. A thorough investigation will be carried out,” Najib said in a Twitter message.
Chief of Air Force Gen Datuk Seri Affendi Buang told a press conference in Kuantan that the pilots had ejected but were found dead with the parachutes still attached to their bodies.
He also said that as at 4.30 pm, the aircraft had yet to be found. Affendi said the RMAF had temporarily grounded the Hawk 108 fighter jet pending an investigation into the tragedy.
Meanwhile, it was reported the wives of the two pilots will be flown to Kuantan tonight.
A reliable source from the RMAF base in Labuan told Bernama that the wives were too distraught over the loss of their husband that they could not be interviewed.
“The wives of the two pilots are still in grief, and it’s inappropriate for any interview…they will be flown from the RMAF base in Labuan to Kuantan tonight on our aircraft,” he said when contacted.
Major Hasri Zahari, 31, and Major Yazmi Mohamed Yusof, 39, who were on a Hawk 108 fighter jet went missing minutes after taking off from the Kuantan airbase at 11 am.
The two pilots were from the No 6 Squadron, Labuan RMAF base and had 13 and 19 years of experience, respectively, with the RMAF.