Malaysia Airlines passengers told technical issues to blame for Adelaide flight landing delay
Passengers on a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur say they were told technical problems were to blame for a delay before landing in Adelaide this morning.
- Malaysia Airlines flight MH139 was late to arrive in Adelaide because of technical issues, passengers said
- The flight was approaching Adelaide Airport but then circled over the sea and northern suburbs
- Passengers “were freaking out”, one said
Flight MH139 was scheduled to touch down at Adelaide Airport between 7:30am and 8:00am, but the plane circled over Gulf St Vincent and then over the northern suburbs before landing safely at the airport more than 20 minutes late.
Adelaide Airport management said neither a standby nor emergency were declared, and it is not clear on the reasons for the delay.
An Airservices Australia spokesperson said the request to go around would have been made by the pilot, not air traffic control.
One of the passengers said they were told by staff during the flight there were technical issues, and said she was frightened by the experience.
“We were thinking ‘what’s going on?’ Because it was ready to land, it was going down, and then it went up again,” she said.
“After quite a while, we were told there were technical issues, but we were freaking out.
“They didn’t tell us until 20 minutes after what was happening and then they said due to technical issues they couldn’t land in time.”
The passenger was tracking the progress of the flight, but said the details kept changing.
“We could see on the map that it went to Elizabeth and it came back and it was just taking rounds over Adelaide Airport but it didn’t reach Adelaide Airport,” she said.
“I could see one minute to go and 1 kilometre to go and then it changed to 14 minutes and it changed to another couple of minutes.
“People didn’t show much but I think everyone was freaking out. They were pretending they were calm, but they were not.”
Another passenger said she was surprised when the plane appeared to abort its descent.
“I could see Mount Lofty and you think, ‘alright we’ve seen that, we’ll go down.’ And then the plane went up, or so it appeared to me,” she said.
“Then it went round in a big circle and had a second go at landing.
“They said they had a slight technical problem — I think that’s what they said — and they’re coming around for another go at landing.”
A witness from the ground saw the plane pass overhead as it approached the runway, before hearing the jet fire up its engines.
Malaysia Airlines has been contacted for comment.