KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Nine incidents involving Hawk fighter jets of the Royal Malaysian Air Force have been recorded since 1996.
In 1996, one of these fighter jets crashed and exploded outside Labuan Airport. The two pilots survived the crash.
Two years later, on Sept 10, 1998, the pilot of a Hawk 208 was killed after the fighter jet crashed in Kuala Betis, Gua Musang, some 200 km from Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
On Oct 2, 2000, a Hawk 208 skidded on the runway when landing in Labuan. The pilot escaped unhurt.
In Kuantan, in 2003, two RMAF pilots died when a Hawk fighter jet crashed into the South China Sea off Pantai Sepat, Pahang.
Capt Khairul Hazrin Kamaruddin, 28, and Capt Ashraff Che Hussin, 30, were on a routine flight training with a Hawk 108 from the Kuantan RMAF airbase when the mishap occurred.
In 2005, a Hawk 208 heading to Labuan Airbase from Butterworth crashed in Pulau Buah, Labuan, killing its pilot.
On May 31, 2006, Major Mohammad Rohaizan Ab Rahman was found dead after his Hawk 208 fighter jet crashed into the South China Sea, 3km off Kampung Lanjut, Pahang, during flight training.
Barely a month after the tragedy, another Hawk aircraft was forced to land during training in Pahang on June 23. Both of its pilots survived.
Following the two incidents, RMAF grounded the British-made Hawk fighter jets.
After the suspension was lifted, a Hawk 208 plane crashed after take-off from the Kuantan Airbase on May 4, 2007. The pilot ejected to safety and did not suffer serious injuries.
The RMAF purchased 28 Hawk fighter jets in 1990 from the United Kingdom and the aircraft were delivered between January 1994 and September 1995.
The air force has two types of Hawk aircraft, the 108 which is used for training, and the advanced version of the 108, the Hawk 208, which is an air combat aircraft.
The Hawks have a maximum speed of Mach 1.2 (1,481 km per hour) at maximum altitude or 1,037 km per hour at sea level and a combat range of 617 km.
During the Lahad Datu incursion in March 2013, five Hawk fighter jets and three Boeing F/A 18D Hornets were deployed to conduct air strikes on terrorist hideouts. — Bernama