The mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 seems to have created a Flight 360 syndrome characterised by air passengers fearing the worst-case scenario once their plane turns around or diverts from its original route.
That was what happened to the ill-fated Boeing 777 jet of Malaysian airlines - an incident that continues to puzzle the aviation world as the aircraft remains undiscovered despite the use of automated submarines.
Passengers of two separate flights recently experienced a Flight 370 syndrome.
The first was a Malaysian Airlines plane that left Kuala Lumpur at 10:09 pm Sunday bound for Bangalore, India. Three circumstances were enough to scare passengers that they too might be in the headlines the next day.
These were they were aboard a Malaysian Airlines jet, second it also left from Kuala Lumpur and third it was forced to divert from the route and turn back.
According to Malaysia Airlines, the jet 's right-hand landing gear malfunctioned during take-off, forcing Flight MH192, which had 159 passengers and 7 crew, to return to KL.
Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammudin Hussein, who is involved in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 that has 239 people on board, tweeted, "They have landed safely - thank God."
The second incident involved a Qantas plane that left Los Angeles at 5:52 pm on Saturday bound for Melbourne, Australia. The jet flew for four-and-a-half hours without any problem when a warning light showed problem with the aircraft's fuel pump.
The pilot decided to turn the place around rather than continue to Hawaii then the passengers were accommodated in other flights from LAX airport.
Qantas spokeswoman Sarah Algar said despite the incident, the travelers were never in danger. The problem on the plane was corrected and the aircraft is back in service, she added.
However, despite the assurance from Qantas, some passengers admitted fearing for their lives, probably unconsciously thinking they may suffer the same fate at the passengers of Flight 370. They said the announcement triggered the fear of air mishap.
The Herald Sun quoted a passenger who requested anonymity as saying, "The Captain addressed us all ... (He said) we have a serious fuel problem ... we have troubleshooted with our engineers for the past 30 minutes and no solutions. We do not have enough petrol to reach Australia or Hawaii."
Another passenger, a Melbourne engineer named Brian, recalled waking up to the announcement that the two fuel pumps on one side of the jet failed. He said that in 40 years of flying, this is the first time he heard of both pumps failing.
But Qantas denied the account of the first passenger that there was not enough fuel. "The aircraft had ample fuel to land in a number of locations including Honolulu however the Captain made the decision to return to LAX as Qantas has an engineering base there," Ms Algar explained.
Meanwhile, the search for the missing jet continued, but despite scouring half of the area where it probably crashed, there was zero result.
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