KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 – A Malaysia Airlines flight bound for Bangalore, India, turned back after a landing gear malfunction and landed safely at the KL International Airport today. Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein tweeted that the flight made a safe emergency landing at 1.56 am and that all passengers and crew were safe. He said he was on his way to KLIA. Flight MH192 had taken off from KLIA at 10.09 pm yesterday with 159 passengers and seven crew and, at 12.40 am today, it tweeted having made an air turn back. In a media release at 1.35 am, MAS said the aircraft’s right landing gear malfunctioned upon takeoff and that the plane was expected to make an emergency landing at KLIA at around 2 am. “Flight MH192, operated on the B737-800 aircraft, was scheduled to arrive in Bangalore at 11.35 pm the same day (yesterday).
“The flight was carrying a total number of 166 people on board, which included 159 passengers and seven crew members,” MAS said. The incident drew a global reaction, especially from netizens who reacted to the MAStweet. The air turn back by a MAS flight had come not long after the disappearance of the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing MAS flight, MH370, on March 8. That flight had also reportedly made an air turn back. Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.
A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of the aircraft, that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.