Not Again – MAS Flight MH198 Forced To Turn Back, Blames Auto-Pilot Defect

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Sep 14 2014
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In what appears to be another fiasco that Malaysian Airlines could do without, flight MH198 from Kuala Lumpur to Hyderabad in India departed at 10:20pm on Saturday but it didn’t manage to make its arrival – scheduled at 11:55pm on Sunday – in India. Instead, the Boeing 737-8H6 had been circling within Malaysia airspace for almost four hours before landed back at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) at about 2:01 am, Sunday.

Malaysia Airline MH198 - Kuala Lumur - Hyderabad - ScheduleHyderabad - India

Initially, there were rumours and speculations that the flight MH198, with Registration 9M-MXI, was on fire. The dramatic event had created anxiety and fear that something as deadly as the disapperance of MH370 and the downing of MH17 by Soviet-made BUK surface-to-air missile in Ukraine could happen to yet another Malaysian Airlines plane.


The flight MH198 had turned back shortly after it was at Malacca Strait and performed “holding and burning fuel” somewhere around Bidor and Sungkai airspace. Surely, it wasn’t trying to make a pit-stop at Bidor for its famous “Duck Drumstick Noodle”, “Wantan Noodle” or “Chicken Biscuit” at Pun Chun Restaurant. Apparently, the pilot needed to make an emergency landing in KLIA.

Malaysia Airline MH198 - Pun Chun RestaurantMalaysia Airline MH198 - Pun Chun Duck Noodle

However, it couldn’t because the airplane may arrive at the landing airport at a weight considerably above the maximum design landing weight. In order to do that, the airplane need to reduce its weight. The weight can be reduced either by holding to burn off fuel or by jettisoning fuel. But doing such will waste fuel cost, but considering how unfortunate Malaysia Airlines have been after losing two airplanes, they just couldn’t take another risky chance.


The Malaysia Airlines blames the incident on auto-pilot defect. The airline said that upon arrival, passengers and crew disembarked safely and were given accommodation at nearby hotels. They also claims the defect did not have any impact on the safety of the aircraft or passengers. The flight has been rescheduled to operate as MH198D and will depart Kuala Lumpur at 12pm on Sunday.

Malaysia Airline MH198 - Kuala Lumur - Hyderabad - Airplane

Nevertheless, the fact that it wasn’t Malaysian Airlines but rather FlightRadar, a service that tracks and shows realtime position of aircrafts, that first broke the news does not do any good to the already tainted Malaysian carrier. Although the Government of Malaysia has agreed to bail out the national airline, people expect the company to be more transparent and upfront about any such situation.


Sure, they can claim the problem was related with the auto-pilot defect. But it could also be due to other bigger issues related to their maintenance. One has to remember how the carrier kept their elegant silence even after the flight MH370 which was scheduled to land in Beijing, China, didn’t turn up. It was only after the uproar by relatives and friends who had waited at Beijing that Malaysian Airlines begin to start talking.

Malaysia Airline MH198 - Kuala Lumur - Hyderabad - Circling on FlightRadar24

Similarly, if FlightRadar didn’t alert this abnormal situation on flight MH198, does the Malaysian Airlines plan to hide it from the public knowledge? They have to remember their responsibilities, regardless whether their morale is low or otherwise due to the coming 30% job cuts. The last thing people want is another similar MH370 or MH17 crisis where 239 and 289 people aboard had perished or remains unknown.


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A few years back while taxiing on the arrival taxi-way after having landed at KLIA and over the parallel departing taxi-way was one MH 737 taxiing out to the runway. And about 100 meters before we passed,one of its tires just came loose and rolled off.Had to control ourselves and relayed the incident to the Tower to info the affected aircraft.
Imagine another tire drop off on the same bogey after airborne.
Just feel sorry for them.

guess that particular flight’s passengers have you guys to thank, for possibly saving their lives …

cheers …

I believe most MAS pilots are more cautious these days with more then 300 employees having left the company. But what MAS saved on the fuel by not dumping all, they had to pay for hotel & lodging.

This also happened on October 12th and flight was turned back from Anadamans. I was in the flight! and no arrangements were made for the passengers. Me and many others missed our connecting flights in India! I am shocked how this screwed up airlines even operating!

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