FOURTH Malaysia Airlines jet forced to abort flight

Firefly Airlines – a full subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines – said incident due to yet more problems with landing gear

Another Malaysia Airlines plane has been forced to turn back in mid-air due to technical issues, the fourth incident involving the airline since the ill-fated flight MH370 left Kuala Lumpur less than seven weeks ago.

The flight, jointly operated by Malaysia Airlines and its subsidiary Firefly Airlines, left Penang in the north-west of Malaysia at 6.55am this morning.

According to a statement issued by Firefly Airlines, around 15 minutes into the flight it was discovered that the aircraft’s landing gear was unable to retract.

Officials said that none of the passengers and crew on board the flight, FY1002/MH9948, were harmed, and that the return to Penang was not classed as an emergency landing because airport fire and rescue crews were not required.

“The aircraft landed safely at 7.30am and all 64 passengers and 4 crew members on board were safe.

“The flight’s schedule was retimed and departed from PIA (Penang International Airport) at 8.50am and arrived safely in Kota Baru at 9.50am today,” the statement said.

The incident was the second in a matter of days to involve a landing gear malfunction on a Malaysia Airlines plane, after flight MH192 to Bangalore was forced to turn back and perform an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

And one month ago today flight MH066, an Airbus A330, had to be “diverted” to Hong Kong after it left Kuala Lumpur because its primary generator failed.

Meanwhile, the authorities searching for the wreckage of flight MH370 said that material washed up on the west coast of Australia was not linked to the jet.

The Boeing 777 went missing on 8 March with 239 people on board, and investigators are yet to find a single piece of debris from the plane.

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