New Straits Times

Female pilot proud to be part of vaccine delivery flight team


SEPANG: “I am very proud and overwhelme­d,” said Nur Waie Hidayah Mohamad Rasidin, 23, one of the five pilots and the only female one responsibl­e for navigating Flight MH319 that brought the first batch of the Sinovac vaccine from China to Malaysia yesterday.

She said she was proud that she could break the male dominance in the aviation industry.

“There is no difference whether you’re a man or a woman (as a pilot). We were all given the same training and went through the same procedures,” she said after landing at Kuala Lumpur Internatio­nal Airport (KLIA).

Nur Waie Hidayah, who joined Malaysia Airlines in 2017, said the passenger-to-cargo flight carrying the vaccine left Beijing Capital Internatio­nal Airport at 2.30am Malaysia time.

She said the flight team had been preparing for five months, including learning about the envirotain­er, which can maintain a temperatur­e of 2°C to 8°C.

The other pilots are Datuk Captain Tengku Ahmad Farizanude­an Al-Haj, Chin Vun Ben, Captain Mohamed Razif Abdul Aziz and Captain Khairul Syukri Khali.

Razif, 53, said five pilots were given the responsibi­lity of navigating the two-way flight for safety reasons.

He said the flight left Kuala Lumpur at 7pm on Friday and arrived in Beijing at 1am.

“The vaccine was loaded right away and we flew back from Beijing at 2.30am.”

He said the loading took a long time as the temperatur­e in Beijing was below 0°C.

Despite his 31 years of experience in aviation, he said he got worried because he did not want anything untoward to happen.

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