Hawk Crash: Pilot Was Concerned About Ageing Fleet

CHUKAI: The elder brother of Hawk 108 pilot Major Yazmi Mohamed Yusof, who was killed yesterday during a routine training flight, has raised concerns over the ageing fleet operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

The brother, Yasni, said Yazmi had expressed concern over the fleet of aircraft in service with the air force.

“I hope the government will look into the matter as it concerns lives and the sovereignty of the country,” he told the New Straits Times.

Yasni described his younger brother as a “wonderful person with a passion for flying”.

He said Yazmi was a dropout from an aeronautical engineering programme at a local university, who later took up mechanical engineering at another university.

“He was there for only two weeks as he later received an offer from RMAF to do cadet training.

“He had been with the RMAF for almost 20 years. His callsign was ‘Chaser’ because he liked to chase his dreams.

“Yazmi was involved in the detachment between Kuantan and Labuan, and would fly (between the two bases) every two weeks following the Lahad Datu intrusion in 2013,” he said.

Yazmi leaves a wife and six children, aged between 3 and 11.

Yasni said Yazmi had a reunion with his family, parents and siblings in Kuala Lumpur on the first and second day of Ramadan.

The youngest of four siblings comprising three boys and a girl, he would have celebrated his 39th birthday on Oct 25, which was also the birthday of Yasni’s daughter, Aliyah Sofia Yasmin.

Yazmi will be buried today at the Taman Tasik Titiwangsa Muslim cemetery in Kuala Lumpur.

Yasni said his parents, Datuk Mohd Yusof Abu Bakar, 75, and Datin Hamizah Ibrahim, 77, were devastated over the loss of a filial son.

The NST has learnt that the RMAF fighter jet fleet, including the Hawk, the MiG-29N Fulcrum and Sukhoi Su-30MKM Super Flanker are facing technical difficulties due to the high cost of maintenance and spare parts.

Sources said Yazmi was asked to do a test flight on the ill-fated jet, which was grounded for a lengthy period at the maintenance hangar, owing to technical problems.

He was to attend a course in Australia, which was long overdue, to obtain his promotion to the next rank of lieutenant- colonel. – NST