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I was on board the Malaysia Airlines' 11.40 flight to Heathrow last night that lost an engine mid-air during take-off at the KLIA. Ten or 15 seconds in the air and there was this huge, ugly "thud" and immediately those who had flown enough times knew something had gone awry. The big bird shuddered and then someone said "Fire!". A stewardess was running up the aisle to the First Class cabin, followed by a male colleague. I did not see any fire; I was at the window seat on the 16th row, just a few seats before the four engines of the 747, and the engine that we lost was on the left wing. Moreover, my eyes were trying to locate the ground about 5000 dark feet below. The worst did cross my mind ...
It was the scariest two hours of my flying experience. But those two hours reaffirmed one thing for me and my fellow passenger (other than the fact that life is fragile), that Malaysia Airlines has the best cabin crew. The Captain took too long to make the announcement about the engine failure but salute to stewardess Wai Soh and her colleagues, for they allayed the passengers and were cool despite their own fears, and continued to engage us well throughout the 90 minutes that the aircraft had to circle low over KLIA to dump fuel for the landing.
MH 002 is scheduled to fly out to Heathrow this morning at 1030. Another plane will be used. But the one day's delay means we will miss our scheduled programme in Lisbon so we decided to cancel the flight.
We live to fly another day. Amin.