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KUANTAN, 16 June 2017:
The remains of Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilots Major Yazmi Mohamed Yusof and Major Mohd Hasri Zahari – who were killed after their Hawk 108 training fighter jet crashed yesterday – arrived at the surau at RMAF base here at 5.45am.
The bodies were transported in two vans accompanied by traffic police personnel, a TUDM vehicle and family members of the two deceased.
As is the custom, the remains were washed, wrapped and prayed over at the surau before being transported to their respective villages in a TUDM aircraft.
Yazmi’s remains was buried at Titiwangsa cemetery, Kuala Lumpur while Mohd Hasri’s, at Felda Lui Muda cemetery in Jempol, Negeri Sembilan.
The jet that Yazmi, 39, and Mohd Hasri, 31, were in, was believed to have crashed in a swampy area at a forest in Chukai, Terengganu.
Their bodies were found at 2.30pm, about 20m apart from each other, with their parachutes still on. They were found about 20m from each other.
The aircraft took off from the RMAF base in Kuantan at 11am before losing contact about 30 minutes later.
The Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah paid his final respects to the two pilots last night.
Despite him being unwell and escorted in a wheelchair, the sultan – who is also the RMAF colonel-in-chief – arrived at the Forensic Unit of the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital at 10pm and spent over an hour with the family members of the two pilots.
Also present were the Regent of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.
Tengku Abdullah also expressed his condolences and sadness over the deaths. “I hope their family members will remain patient in facing this difficult time.
“We pray for Allah to bless the souls of these two heroes who were willing to undergo training even during this fasting month. This is a great loss for the RMAF and the country.”
The promise to buy raya clothing upon returning from duty were the last words uttered by Yazmi to his eldest son Mikhail Adam Riaz, 11, before his demise.
Mikhail, the eldest of six siblings, when met at the grounds of the Forensics Department of Kuantan hospital, said he did not expect that the prayers together with the family after the pre-dawn meal were the last moment the family would have with Yazmi.
“After the pre-dawn meal, we performed the ‘subuh’ prayers led by my father as usual when he returned to Kuantan. That was the last time I met my father before continuing to sleep.
“He did not leave any instruction nor did he show any strange behaviour except that he said he wanted to bring all our siblings to shop for clothing for Aidilfitri.”
Meanwhile, a witness who captured a glimpse of two pilots parachuting, said: “One of the pilots was making a cross sign with his hands in my direction and I thought they were in a training session.”
Siti Zamilah Mohd Hussin, 27, said she was sweeping the courtyard of her house on a hill in Kampung Pondok Pasir here about 12.30pm when she spotted the two men.
“I saw one of them tugging at his parachute rope and making a cross sign with his hands in my direction. I responded by waving at them because I thought the two men were involved in parachute training.”
She said the two pilots were subsequently seen plunging in the rear of the house before she heard a loud thud.
Separately, Ali Mohamad Mohd Hussin, 37, who was also in the neighborhood, said he heard two loud bangs while sitting in front of his house in Kampung Pondok Pasir here.
“I heard the sound twice, then everything went quiet. I tried to look around but saw nothing. A few hours later, I saw a helicopter hovering in the vicinity of my house.”
Another witness, Hafizuddin Yunus, 32, said he saw the fighter jet was flying low before its emission of thick smoke.
At the time, he said he was riding a motorcycle and could see the jet clearly, about 1,000 feet above the ground and heard its engine roar noisily before it headed towards the Tasik Buku and Seri Bando forest reserve area near here.
“I saw the jet was descending as if it was going to crash but then it disappeared before thick smoke billowed.”