Malaysia Airlines: Auto-pilot defect forces plane back

Malaysia Airlines: Auto-pilot defect forces plane back

PETALING JAYA- The Hyderabad-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight MH198, which had to make an air turnback, could be controlled manually despite the defect in its auto-pilot mechanism.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he was informed by the Department of Civil Aviation that the flight to the South Indian city was forced to turn back early yesterday due to an auto-pilot defect.

"The plane could still be controlled manually," he added. Liow also refuted rumours that the Boeing 737-800 had caught fire. Initial reports said the plane had to make an emergency landing due to "burning fuel".

MAS said in a statement that the defect did not have any impact on the safety of the aircraft or passengers.

"However, as a precautionary measure, the captain decided to turn back," it said. It also dismissed reports on social media that the aircraft had caught fire.

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