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PUBLISHED: May 17, 2016 3:03pm

Pilots ejected safely from RMAF training jet

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Source: Bernama Source:
Bernama

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KUALA LUMPUR, 17 May 2016: 

A Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Aermacchi MB339CM jet crashed in Nenasi, Pekan, Pahang this afternoon.

According to an RMAF statement, the jet based at the Kuantan air base experienced technical problems while doing training flight manoeuvres at 12.54pm.

“Both pilots on board ejected to safety,” the statement said.

RMAF said a board of inquiry would be set up to investigate the cause of the crash.

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At least five mishaps involving the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Aermacchi MB-339 trainer jet have been reported since its use in 1983, with all pilots successfully managing to eject to safety.

Prior to the latest incident at 12.54pm today, the first incident was recorded on 14 Dec 1995 when the Italian-made plane skidded while landing at the Butterworth Air Base.

According to news reports, four months later, another on routine flight training went down near Pulau Yu in Johor, due to technical problems on 15 April 1996.

The third incident occurred on 27 Oct 1998 in the Piah forest reserve in Perak, while the fourth incident on 23 Jan 2002, which saw the plane crash near the Air Kala Dam in Gerik, Perak.

Based on the records, RMAF has a fleet of 18 Aermacchi MB-339. The latest eight of the new variant of the aircraft were received by RMAF on 2 Dec 2009, according to a news report.

The plane is an advanced trainer to prepare RMAF fighter pilots to fly new generation fighter aircraft equipped with an advanced avionic system.

It is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics with a human-machine interface that includes a Head-Up Display and three Multi Functional Displays in both front and rear cockpits. It is also equipped with software to simulate complex operational scenarios.

Father relieved pilot son survived crash

“I was beyond shocked to hear my son was involved in an air crash. But I feel so relieved after I got to talk to him and see for myself his condition.”

That was the reaction of Khairi Yusof, 47, the father of Lt Mohd Hakimi Hairi, 24, who was injured after the Royal Malaysian Air Force Aermacchi MB339CM trainer jet he was in crashed into a padi field in Kampung Serum, Pekan near here this afternoon.

Khairi, who works as a lorry driver, said his eldest child (daughter) who lives in Kuala Lumpur called him on his handphone at 2pm to inform him about the incident and told him that Mohd Hakimi had been rushed to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital (HTAA).

“I was in Gebeng at the time heading to my home on Kemaman (Terengganu) after attending to some matters at the Road Transport Department office in Kuantan.

“I was in a daze for a while. Without wasting any more time I headed back to the hospital to look for my son,” he said when met at HTAA.

Khairi said his son, the second of three siblings, appeared to have fractured his left leg and was waiting for the X-ray results, besides sustaining some injuries on his body.

“I thanked Allah when I saw him safe, conscious and could talk. He did not appear to be tramautised by the incident. Only his body was hot like a person down with a fever.”

Khairi said his son had wanted to be a pilot since small and gave his blessings when he took up the career.

According to an RMAF statement, the jet based at the Kuantan air base experienced technical problems while doing training flight manoeuvres at 12.54pm.

“Both pilots on board ejected to safety,” the statement said, adding that a board of inquiry would be set up to investigate the cause of the crash.

Pahang Fire and Rescue Department Senior Superintendent II (Operations) Ashrul Rezal Asbar said one Mohd Hakimi fractured a leg while the other pilot Mejar Nazrul Hafiz Zaimi escaped injury.

He said both pilots were brought out of the crash site in a military helicopter at 1.37pm and taken to HTAA.

Meanwhile, Nazrul Hafiz, when met at HTAA’s X-ray unit, said his view was that what happened was ‘asam garam’ (part and parcel) of a pilot’s life and that the incident would not deter him from flying again.

“Can be expected in this line of work. But life and death is in the hands of God. I will not feel traumatised by this incident althought this is the first time I had to eject from a plane,” said Nazrul Hafiz, who was rather calm despite what had happened.

He was also full of praise for the members of the public, the Pahang Fire and Rescue Department and medics for their quick response in handling the emergency.

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