KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesia AirAsia flight en route to Surabaya was forced to return to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) today due to technical problems.
According to a report in the New Straits Times, Flight QZ321 left klia2 at 9.35am but 30 minutes later the pilot turned around to return to Kuala Lumpur after noticing a technical problem.
The NST quoted a passenger, Rosdan Ramli, as saying that the captain made an announcement that they were turning back due to technical problems just as they were flying over the Straits of Malacca.
If you are a passenger on such a flight, where the pilot elects to RTB (Return to Base) or turns around to return to where the plane has taken off, be very glad you have a pilot who plays safe.
And when the pilot plays safe, you will be generally safe in his hands.
The danger is in those pilots who choose to carry on when it's not safe to do so, or when the aircraft systems or indications say it's not wise to continue.
The hazardous attitude of pressing on with a flight regardless of a technical problem/warning-indication or marginal fuel left or bad weather ahead, etc, is known in aviation circle as 'get-home-itis' or 'press-on-itis'.
The chances of such gung-ho pilots getting into serious air accidents are extremely high. It'll be your and my bad luck if we are ever on their planes.