Police in Malaysia have been ordered to investigate the possibility of sabotage after another Malaysia Airlines jet was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after departing from Kuala Lumpur.
The captain of the Boeing 737-8H6 (9M-MXJ c 40137), which was carrying 159 passengers and seven crew for what should have been a routine 90-minute flight to Bangalore, India, had to turn back after it was reported that one of the tyres on its main landing gear had burst during take-off.
Air traffic control (ATC) contacted the pilots of flight MH192 late last night after debris (FOD) from a tyre was found on the runway. It was also reported that the aircraft also had difficulties lowering the gear on its return to the airport (WMKK).
The airline said that emergency services were responded to the runway, but the aircraft touched-down in Kuala Lumpur without incident around three hours after it left.
Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, who has been at the forefront of Malaysian efforts to recover the missing flight MH370, travelled to the airport to see the return of the aircraft.
The pilots of MH192 were described as “heroes” for the way they calmly dealt with the emergency situation.
The incident comes not only after the disappearance of flight MH370 on 8 March, but also after another Malaysia Airlines plane was “diverted” from its course shortly after departing Kuala Lumpur.
Flight MH066, an Airbus A330, was forced to make an unscheduled stop at Hong Kong’s international airport after losing power from its primary generator.
Asked about the possibility of sabotage due to the recent spate of incidents involving Malaysia Airlines, the minister said: “I have already directed the police to investigate immediately. Our standard operating procedure, as with MH370, has not changed but any leads that we have must be verified and corroborated.
“We are thankful that none of the passengers are hurt. I was able to meet the passengers, as most of them were very impressed with the captain and crew,” he said.
Are these incidents sabotage? I would think not! They are more likely to be simple mechanical “failures” that may occur from time-to-time with the operation of aircraft. The bursting of tyres on take-off and landing is a relatively frequent occurrence in aviation and with aircraft landing uneventfully. This incident with MH192 is likely to be just another one of these random tyre blow-outs.