Mungkin ramai yang tidak mengenali nama "Ahmad Fariz Mokhtar". Namun bagi mereka yang terlibat dalam industri penerbangan negara, khususnya warga juruterbang Malaysia Airlines (MAS), mungkin mengenali individu ini.
Ahmad Fariz merupakan seorang kapten yang menjadi salah seorang juruterbang MAS.
Mungkin tidak tahan lagi dengan teori-teori karut dan ulasan-ulasan tidak masuk akal dari sesetengah pihak yang "buta" namun cuba "tunjuk pandai" mengulas tentang tragedi MH17, Ahmad Fariz terpanggil untuk menulis sesuatu di akaun laman Facebook miliknya.
KedahNews.com berpandangan bahawa kenyataan yang dibuat oleh juruterbang MAS ini sebagai tepat dan padat, betul-betul terkena "batang hidung" beberapa pihak yang membuat tuduhan liar mempersoal MAS memilih jalan udara di Ukraine itu.
Antara yang mempersoal tindakan syarikat penerbangan kesayangan ramai itu ialah Ahli Parlimen Taiping (DAP), Nga Kor Ming dan Ketua Pemuda PAS, Suhaizan Kaiat, yang teruk dikecam atas kenyataan tidak berasas mereka.
Berikut adalah kenyataan penuh yang dipetik dari laman Facebook milik Kapten Ahmad Fariz yang kami maksudkan...
Before I begin, let me remind you that my words here are not to hurt anyone, at least that is not my intention. But I have to speak up. Enough is enough. I have seen too many comments, too many accusations on the internet, some of which are hurtful to us pilots and flight attendants. Journalists and reporters of the media also chose to publish artlicles or news after interviewing idiots. Like, for example, a remark by a brainless rebel general who claim that some passengers were already dead when MH17 took off.
Now to those who questions us pilots, and the airline, why we flew through Ukraine, let me explain about flight routes. Pilots, for your information, do not fly certain routes as car drivers drive on certain roads. Yes we do get information about the status of certain routes, for example if there are some military activities nearby. Those areas are known as Special Use Airspace (SUA). But we do not simply fly into those airspace. SUAs are divided into four category. Danger, Restricted, Warning, and Alert. Air Traffic Controller (ATC) always see us on their radars, and will warn us the moment our aircraft seems to be headed into those areas. SUAs are not lying around for fun on our regular path, known as airways. Airways for commercial airliners are designed not to cross path with SUA.
But we might steer off our planned airways. Why? Because if a gigantic thunderstorm is right on the airways, you wouldn't want us to fly into it, right? You don't want us to strictly fly on the approved airways all the time. Of course not. But to steer off the airways, we have to get approval from ATC first. Again, if the ATC see us flying off the airway but into SUAs, they would warn us. And in any case, we pilots know the airspace where we are flying. Now do you see that there are two line of defense, before we "stray into some missile zone area?"
About the path used by MH17. Let me quote Malaysia Airline media statement.
"The flight plan was approved by Eurocontrol, who are solely responsible for determining civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace. Eurocontrol is the air navigation service provider for Europe and is governed under ICAO rules. The route over Ukrainian airspace where the incident occurred is commonly used for Europe to Asia flights. A flight from a different carrier was on the same route at the time of the MH17 incident, as were a number of other flights from other carriers in the days and weeks before. Eurocontrol maintains records of all flights across European airspace, including those across Ukraine".
ICAO stands for International Civil Aviation organisation. And to Singapore Airline, you shut up. You were there too. You were just lucky. We were not.
Now let me ask you this. Do you know that the routes that pilots use, from taxy lane, to runway for take off, to airways, are all directed by Air Traffic Controllers? Of course you do. Our office would file a flight plan, approved by local authority, then it is presented to us. We study the routes, concur with them, key in those routings into our flight computers, and off we go. Just imagine driving your car and everytime you want to turn, you must get approval from a traffic police, who happens to be in contact with you all the time. Imagine if you even have to get approval from the traffic police to start your engine, to reverse out of your parking lot, to speed up to 30km/h on the street, to speed up 100km/h on the highway, to use which highway, to slow down, to use which street to get to the parking lot, oh, the list goes on and on.
So STOP imagining us pilots flying our airplanes like you driving your cars. And if you are not in the aviation industry, just read and don't come up with your own theories. Seriously, we pilots are laughing at some comments and theories.
But above all, lets recite al-Fatihah for victims of MH17. A moment of silence. Pray that no more lives are lost senselessly.
*edited, updated version. I started this with the intention of not hurting anyone, but I might hurt some reporters/journalists. I have nothing against them, they are doing fantastic job of reporting the accident. Just too emotional when I read that some passengers were already dead before the crash. And to Singapore Airline, I accept your apology.