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Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Jet Crash - Was The Jet Reliable?

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Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Jet Crash - Was The Jet Reliable?

Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) Hawk jet crashes while returning home on a routine training flight.

If you've been busy lately, perhaps you might not have heard that a Hawk 108 fighter plane belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) crashed recently while landing at RMAF's Butterworth Air Base in Penang.

RMAF Hawk 108 Crash Penang 2022Photo credit: Malay Mail

According to a statement issued by RMAF's public relations division, the incident occurred at about 10.07 pm on November 16 on the runway area of ​​the Butterworth Air Base.

Senior Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the crash unfortunately saw one pilot perish while another injured. The Defence Minister has instructed RMAF to immediately provide a more detailed report and investigate the cause of the incident.

"Takziah kepada keluarga anggota TUDM yang maut dan seorang lagi yang cedera. Amat sedih dan dukacita terima berita ini."

"Saya difahamkan anggota yang cedera telah dibawa untuk rawatan segera. MINDEF Malaysia telah diarah untuk salur apa jua keperluan kepada keluarga kedua-dua anggota terlibat", said Hishammuddin.

RMAF Hawk 108 Crash Penang 2022Photo credit: Bernama

RMAF has also asked the public not to spread any speculations regarding the accident or any unauthentic news.

With that being said, some members of the public have voiced their concerns that our military pilots are flying 25-year-old planes.  

But according to aviation expert Prof Dr Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian, who is Chief Aviation Search and Rescue Researcher, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (UniKL MIAT), there is no problem with flying a 25-year-old plane if the maintenance follows the schedule set by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Japanes Phantom Military JetPhoto credit: Militarywatchmagazine

In a report by Harian Metro, he used the Japanese Military's 1960s F-4 Phantom fighter jets as an example, as they are still in service due to good levels of maintenance. He also said that OEMs would typically perform ongoing analysis and advise customers on the lifespan of an aircraft.

However, the history of the RMAF Hawk 108 is not an unblemished one. According to research done by Bernama, there has been a total of nine RMAF Hawk Jet crashes since 1996. Most were training flights, and six pilots have died throughout these crashes.

RMAF Hawk 108 Malaysia

Also, according to Bernama, RMAF will still continue to use the Hawk 108 fighter jets, despite the recent crash. "Hishammuddin said that any decision to ground the aircraft would only be made after the special investigation board had completed its findings on the crash."

The Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot who died in the tragedy has now been identified as Capt Mohamad Affendi Bustamy. We at would like to wish his family our deepest condolences. 

Adam Aubrey

Adam Aubrey

Content Producer

Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler

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