Malaysian authorities opened an investigation into a jet trainer crash that claimed the life of a pilot, and left another pilot injured.

The incident occurred during night training at Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Butterworth Air Base, on November 16, 2021.

The aircraft crashed near the runway, turning into what witnesses described as a fireball. It was not specified if the jet was taking off or landing.

"All parties should refrain from spreading any unverified news or speculations. RMAF will be setting up an investigation board on the incident," an Air Force statement, quoted by News Channel Asia, said.

The Malaysian press describes the condition of the injured pilot as stable.

The RMAF originally operated 18 BAE Hawk 108 trainers and Hawk 208 light attack aircraft. Reportedly, the type is sometimes used as an interceptor due to the shortage of fighter jets. According to The Star, nine Malaysian Hawks were lost due to various causes since 1996. 

In June 2021, Malaysia announced a tender for a new supersonic aircraft that could perform the roles of a light fighter jet and an advanced trainer.

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The Malaysian press reports that six jets are participating in the country's light combat aircraft tender – and the Pakistani-Chinese JF-17 is not among them.