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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Death must've been going through their minds

Frank the steward was going through the single aisle of the aircraft starting from the front to make sure all his 126 economy class passengers were securely fastened for the crash landing.
The year was 1969, Frank was barely 23 years old and this was his first job with Malaysia Singapore Airlines (MSA). He took up the job as a steward the year before. Unfortunately for Frank,all the crew as well as the passengers, the B707's nose wheel could not be extended for the landing at Paya Lebar Airport.
It was declared an emergency. The runway was foamed to reduce the friction of the aircraft fuselage on crash landing. It might work,it might not but everyone on the ground and in the plane were praying earnestly it might save the crash landing plane from exploding.

This was how Frank described the passengers on the B707 " For once the paxs were somber and quiet. There was no sign of anyone being demanding like on all my flights. Death must been going through their minds and I could that on their faces, pale and scared."

The commander was the late Captain Gurum Singh and the first officer was Peter Menon. I can't recall the name of the expatriate flight engineer.

To cut a long story short, after an hour or so, Capt Gurum skilfully steered the aircraft out of trouble. The nose wheel was extended and all lives on board that flight were saved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pax tot dey gonna to die ta's y they behave themselves or else dey will ringing d call bells for the slightest thing.I bet most must hvae been Stikaporeans.