Bangalore, April 21: Passengers of the Malaysian Airlines plane that had a landing gear snag late Sunday recalled their three hours of scary moments midair on arrival here from Kuala Lumpur Monday evening.
“Those three hours we were in midair before returning to Kuala Lumpur were scary and everyone was anxious about their fate. Some were praying, while others were comforting one another,” recalled Swathi, a woman passenger onboard the MH192 Boeing aircraft, at the Bangalore international airport.
The scheduled flight from Kaula Lumpur was to arrive here at 2 a.m. Monday.
Swathi, a doctor in the city, said she heard a loud sound like a tyre burst when the plane took off with 159 passengers and seven crew members from Kuala Lumpur international airport late Sunday.
“The plane was shaking as it took off. We were informed that the plane would get back (to Kuala Lumpur) due to some technical problem. We were told later that the landing gear was not working. The plane kept flying for around three hours, as they (pilots) wanted to exhaust the fuel before attempting to land,” a relieved Swathi told reporters at the arrival terminal.
After circulating for three hours, the anxious passengers were told to hold on to their seats tight with heads down, as the pilot decided to land the aircraft.
“Finally, we were informed that an attempt was being made to land the aircraft. On the third attempt, the pilot succeeded to land safely. Once the plane landed, all cheered and thanked the pilots and crew members profusely,” she said.
Another passenger, who declined to reveal her name, was all praises for the pilots and the crew, as they kept the passengers engaged and looked after them well.
“The pilots and crew kept talking to us during those three hours, and assured us not to worry as efforts were being made to land the aircraft safely,” she said.
A Malaysian Airlines spokesman said 153 passengers flew into Bangalore with seven crew members.
“They (passengers) were of various nationalities, though most of them were Indians. Some had connecting flights to Chennai and Hyderabad,” the spokesman told IANS.
The airliner has two non-stop flights daily on the Bangalore-Kuala Lumpur route.
“The experience was stressful for everybody. The only concern was to be safe and get out of the aircraft quickly,” a third passenger said.