FAX’s close call on its last day
Posted By rajlira On 30th September 2007 @ 00:00 In Local
Panic turns to relief when Twin Otter splutters to life after both engines briefly stop
MIRI: The first flight of the penultimate day of FAX Rural Air Service here almost ended in disaster when the engines failed while airborne yesterday.
Lawas-bound Twin Otter flight DZ 1530 took off slightly after its 6.55 am schedule but ran into trouble within minutes after take-off.
It was supposed to land in Lawas airport at 7.40am but was back here using just one engine that was “forced” to start by the pilot.
The co-pilot was overheard saying that they might land on a highway but the calm pilot turned back to Miri airport and head out to the sea with the single left engine.
That engine spluttered and even stopped in mid-aid for several seconds, causing the aircraft to lose attitude rapidly and left the passengers hysterical.
To their great relief, the pilot managed to restart an engine and nursed the plane back to the airport.
Utusan Sarawak bureau chief in Limbang, Adeng Edrews, who was on the plane said he was shocked when the right propeller stopped within minutes after taking off but he was in for a bigger shock when both engines failed.
Shaken by the scary ordeal, he and other passengers recalled that there was screaming, hysteria, and loud praying among passengers while the pilot and co-pilot struggled to bring the plane back under control.
Some angry passengers demanded a refund while some just walked away, shaken but thankful that they landed safely.
I was supposed to be on the flight but missed it after the ground crew stopped me for failing to meet the check-in time.
Both Adeng and I made it somehow to Lawas later to cover the Ramadan month Raya gift presentation to orphans and poor Muslims, mosque and surau officials yesterday.
Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Dato Sri Awang Tengah Ali Hasan officiated at the function.
Tengah’s wife Datin Sri Dayang Morliah Datuk Awang Daud was also present at Lawas district mosque.
FAX and the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) when contacted declined to comment on the scary flight.
Tomorrow, MasWings, a subsidiary of MAS will take over the rural air services from FAX.
Article printed from The Borneo Post Online: http://www.theborneopost.com
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