Last updated Saturday, January 31, 2015 05:53pm

December 4, 1977 - The worst plane crash to have ever happened in Malaysia, when 100 passengers and crew died when flight MH653 crashed into a swamp in Tanjong Kupang in Johor. The Boeing 737-200 was reported to have been hijacked while descending towards Subang airport, at around 7.54pm, when the captain informed the control tower of an unidentified hijacker.

He later informed the tower that they were en-route to Singapore, before all communications were lost at around 8.15pm. The fatalities included the-then Agriculture Minister Datuk Ali Ahmad and Cuban Ambassador to Japan Mario Garcia. The reasons behind the hijacking are not known to this day.

December 18, 1983 - Flight MH 684 from Singapore crashed two kilometres short of the runway at Subang airport at 7.20pm. The captain attempted to land the Airbus 300-B4 in heavy rain, clipping some trees on its descent before and the right landing gear struck the ground. There were no fatalities, but the plane was damaged beyond repair.

September 15, 1995 - Thirty-four people died when flight MH2133 overshot the runway at Tawau airport, crashing into a shantytown when it attempted to carry out a go-around. Investigations found that the Fokker 50 crash was due to pilot error.

Other major incidents

March 15, 2000 - An Airbus A330-300 servicing the MH085 route between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur was damaged during unloading of cargo at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The plane was damaged by a chemical called oxalyl chloride, which leaked out of a canister during unloading and caused five ground staff to fall ill. The plane was written-off. A Chinese company, which falsely declared the corrosive chemicals, was ordered to pay USD65 million (RM211.9 million) plus interest over the incident.

In the Gallery


  • People take pictures of a flight information board displaying the Scheduled Time of Arrival (STA) of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (top, in red) at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, covers her face as she cries at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Journalists attempt to interview a woman who is the relative of a passenger on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, as she crouches on the floor crying, at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A man takes pictures of a flight information board displaying the Scheduled Time of Arrival (STA) of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (top, in red) at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Journalists wait in a conference room for a news conference regarding the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of those on-board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight walk into the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of those on-board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, walk into the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of those on-board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, walk into the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • The holding area set up at Level 5 for family members of those on-board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 8, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Distraught family members of those on-board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 8, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Distraught family members of those on-board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 8, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Journalists take pictures and videos of a relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A crying woman is escorted to a bus for relatives at the Beijing Airport after news of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane on March 8, 2014. — AFP pic

  • A Malaysia Airlines spokesman speaks to journalists regarding information about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, during a news conference at a hotel in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. — Picture by Choo Choy May

  • Family members of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are interviewed by media at the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 speaks to journalists at a hotel in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 talks on a mobile phone as journalists attempt to interview her at a hotel in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman, whose husband is a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, attempts to leave a hotel after complaining about Malaysia Airlines, in Beijing, March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A Vietnamese Air Force officer takes photos from a search and rescue aircraft in the search area for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, 250km from Vietnam and 190km from Malaysia, in this handout photo from Thanh Nien Newpaper taken March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • An aerial view of an oil spill is seen from a Vietnamese Air Force aircraft in the search area for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, 250km from Vietnam and 190km from Malaysia, in this handout photo from Thanh Nien Newpaper taken on March 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

August 1, 2005 - Flight MH124 was forced to perform an emergency landing at Perth Airport after the crew reported a software malfunction when the Boeing 777-2H6ER plane had attempted to gain altitude after takeoff. The plane, which was en route to Kuala Lumpur, encountered problems with its instrumentation, forcing the pilot to take manual control of the plane. The plane landed without incident.

December 17, 2013 - Flight MH170, flying in from Jakarta, experienced severe turbulence as it prepared to land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, due to an air vortex caused by an earlier landing by an Airbus A380 super jumbo. The vortex caused the Boeing 737-800 to pitch down and to the sides during its descent, but was quickly brought under control by the pilot and landed safely.

* Source: Aviation Safety Network, The Star

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