SEPANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Passengers of a Malaysia Airlines flight which had suffered a burst tyre were full of praise for its pilot Captain Nor Adam Azmi Abd Razak, whom they said had handled the situation professionally.
They commended him for carrying out text-book safety procedures to land the aircraft safely at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
In the incident on Monday night, the Boeing 737-800, flight code MH192, which was bound for Bangalore, India, was forced to return to KLIA after a tyre in its right-hand landing gear burst during take-off.
The aircraft was carrying 159 passengers and seven crew members.
A passenger Eugene Chin, who was going for training at Bangalore, woke up after an hour of sleep and noticed that the plane was still in an orbital pattern near Malaysia.
"I then overheard that something was wrong with the plane's landing gear and that there was a possibility of an emergency landing," said the 24-year-old Malaysian IT strategy analyst.
"We received constant updates. The captain did a good job and was very thorough with the safety procedures," he added.
Another passenger, who only wanted to be known as Raymond, also praised Capt Nor Adam for keeping everyone calm with periodic updates.
"Oxygen masks dropped in the cabin, but none of the passengers seemed to be panicking. There was a lot of praying, but people were generally calm," he added.
Gorav Puri, 31, from Sweden, said: "The plane made two turns before landing. We were only scared during take-off and when we were told to brace ourselves for landing," adding that he was grateful for the pilot's handling of the situation.
Maslihuddin Khan said most passengers were calm as the pilot had kept everyone informed of what was happening.
Indian tourist Raja Gopal Menon said the only time he felt afraid was when the plane had to return to KLIA.
"The way that the pilot spoke on updates of the situation had a calming effect for those on board," he added.
Spanish telecommunications engineer Marta Alonso said although passengers were calm when the captain announced the turn back, it was still a bit too disconcerting for him.
"You can imagine as it is the first time for me," he added.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, in a Facebook posting, also congratulated the pilot, crew as well as Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control for their quick action.
"I am glad that Flight MH192 returned safely to KLIA this morning. Good work to all involved.
"Well done to Captain Nor Adam Azmi and his co-pilot Prakash Kumar for successfully landing the plane."
Acting Transport Minister and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who greeted the passengers at KLIA on Monday tweeted: "These guys makes me proud to be Malaysian! TQ Capt Adam n crew of MH192."
A Malaysia Airlines statement said the aircraft was forced to make a turn back to Kuala Lumpur at 10.25pm on Sunday when one of the tyres on the right-hand main landing gear burst during takeoff.
Tyre debris were also spotted on the runway shortly after it took off.
No casualties were reported.
All passengers were put up at nearby hotels in Sepang and Putrajaya after it landed at 1.56am.
"After the problem was rectified, the aircraft took off to Bengaluru at 3.35pm yesterday (Monday) with a different set of crew," the statement said.