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Friday, June 16, 2017

Rest In Peace, Op Daulat Heroes

Today has been a long day. As I was safely having lunch in KL CBD, a RMAF Hawk 108 trainer fighter had crashed somewhere near Cukai, Terengganu. Both pilot and co-pilot, Major Yasmi Mohd Yusof (call sign Caser), 39, and Major Mohd Hasri Safari (call sign Fixer), 31, were killed in the crash.

Big Loss
Let's not dwell into what had happened. The Board of Inquiry that would be set up would handle that.

The loss of both pilots is a big loss not only to RMAF but also to their family. What more with Raya Aidilfitri less than a week away.

Allahyarham Major Yasmi left behind a wife and 6 children, age between 3 to 11 while Allahyarham Major Hasri left behind a wife and a 7 month daughter.

Both pilots were highly experienced and were involved in Ops Daulat, flying their own Hawk 208 providing CAS (Combat Air Support) to ground troops, pounding Sulu terrorist position.

Credit to Panggilan Pertiwi

Disappointing Reactions
As always, whenever there is a tragedy involving our Armed Forces, some individuals would try to link it to politics, or make jokes out of it.

Another disrespectful joker.

However, it must be mentioned that this time around, this seemed to have improved with fewer bad taste comments compared to before. Still...

Wrong Photos
There were also Malaysians who spread photos without verifying the source. Photos of the Aermacchi crash last year were mixed into the narrative to make their blogs or posts more popular. But it is still wrong as these become source of disinformation in the future.

A different crash.

I recalled this crash because the photo below had resulted in a rather heated exchange between some friends who had opined that the first aider had erred to move the victims without applying to the neck a proper neck brace.

Photos from a different crash.

BAe Hawk 
The BAe Hawk 108 is a trainer fighter version used to train pilots and allow senior pilots to undergo refresher training. It was procured somewhere in 1992 - 1994 together with sister BAe Hawk 208. 108 is the twin-seater variant, while 208 is the single-seater variant.

One of the most versatile designs worldwide, a variant is also the mainstay for British Royal Air Force acrobatic team, Red Arrows.

The purchase of BAe Hawk is marred by the Pergau Dam controversy. It was said that the Air Force had wanted to purchase Panavia Tornado, but political intervention had resulted it to be changed to BAe Hawk.

In hindsight, the move if true may have saved RMAF some headache as RAF Panavia Tornado had a much shorter life span than expected, and if I don't recall wrongly, has been fully replaced by BAe Eurofighter Typhoon.

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