MAS chief: Duck strike report untrue, Seoul-bound flight diversion a precaution

KUALA LUMPUR - A Nepali report saying that Malaysia Airlines cockpit crew did not inform air traffic controllers that it had hit a flock of ducks at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal is inaccurate.

"Regarding Kathmandu, that is untrue. The pilot immediately informed air traffic control and submitted a report upon landing. So that is not true as far as the Kathmandu incident," said Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya (pic) at a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre here on Monday.

He clarified that it was a landing light on the plane that shattered, and not the windscreen as reported.

It was reported by the Kathmandu Post that the flight's cockpit crew did not immediately inform air traffic control of the incident, and that the flight captain only confirmed the 'suspected bird-hit' after a Jet Airways crew reported seeing glass on the highway to the airport authority.

Upon inspection, airport officials found at least 10 dead ducks and some glass on the runway. The debris was cleared and the airport resumed normal operations after half an hour.

Officials found two more dead ducks during a routine inspection on Saturday.

Ahmad Jauhari also said that it was not a safety issue that caused a MAS flight to Incheon, Seoul to be diverted to land in Hong Kong.

"It had a technical problem with the generator, and as a precaution we diverted the aircraft to land in Hong Kong. It is not a safety issue per se, it is a technical issue the aircraft had," he said.

It was reported that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) confirmed that Flight MH066 from Kuala Lumpur to Incheon, Seoul on Sunday was diverted to Hong Kong due to an inoperative aircraft generator.

MAS media relations manager Kharunnisak Dzun Nurin said in a statement on Monday that the Airbus A330-300 aircraft landed in Hong Kong "uneventfully".

Electrical power continued to be supplied by the auxiliary power unit, she said.

"The aircraft was then diverted to Hong Kong for rectification and landed uneventfully," she added.

MH066 left Kuala Lumpur at 11.37pm on Sunday and was scheduled to arrive at Incheon International Airport at 6.50am (5.50am local time) Monday.