SEPANG, Malaysia - Passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH192 to Bangalore, India, that made a turnback to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here due to landing gear mechanical problem earlier today, were not only relieved of their safe return but also thankful to their hero - its "calm and excellent " pilot.
Despite their traumatising four-hour experience, look of joy could clearly be seen on the passengers' face when acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein visited them at the airport's arrival hall at 3.45am.
Many took the chance to tell Hishammuddin of their experiences and feeling of relief, before praising the flight's pilot they called Captain Adam for what they described as "excellent landing" given the circumstances. (The pilot was later identified as Captain Nor Adam Azmi Abd Razak.) Businessman Dr K. Satish Shetty, from Manipal, India, said he was very satisfied of how the pilot handled the situation.
He said Adam managed to land the Boeing 737-800 smoothly and in short distance without any untoward incident.
"The problem happened right during takeoff, when we heard loud noise before the aircraft started shaking.
"We knew that something had gone wrong, before the pilot told us that there is a problem with the aircraft and they are trying to identify it.
"The pilot then told us that we need to make a turnback to KLIA, and we continued flying over Malaysian airspace for several hours to burn the fuel before he made landing attempts," he said when met at the arrival hall.
Another passenger who only identified himself as John, 49, from Netherlands, also shared similar sentiment.
He said the aircraft pilots and cabin crew have handled the situation in a professional manner.
"The passengers were very scared when we learnt that the flight was having trouble.
"Some were crying, while most of us had already started reciting prayers.
"But the crew were excellent and very professional... They managed to handle the situation well and avoid panic.
The flight departed KLIA at 10.09pm and scheduled to arrive in Bangalore at 11.30pm the same day.
It safely landed at the KLIA at 1.56am.
The passengers were taken to two hotels in Putrajaya after Immigration Department finished processing their documents, and they are scheduled to board another flight to Bangalore this afternoon.