The hosts of Asean-India Commemorative Summit were in for a mighty surprise when the royal aircraft carrying Their Majesties and other members of the royal family landed at the Palam Air Force Base in New Delhi, India.
While the welcoming party comprising RPN Singh, the Minister of State for Home Affairs and officials of the External Affairs Ministry waited to receive His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, a husky voice sought the air traffic controller's clearance for the massive bird to land, India Today reported.
As the controller gave the necessary directions, the jumbo made a smooth landing and taxied to the ceremonial area. The controller gave another command: "After the VVIP disembarks please clear the main bay and move to the parking area."
The welcoming party waiting to receive His Majesty could hardly believe what it saw: His Majesty himself emerging from the Captain's seat. His Majesty, to their disbelief, had flown the aircraft on its journey to New Delhi, considered rare for a Head of State.
Old timers recalled that the Sultan had captained the aircraft on his previous visit to Delhi in 2008 as well.
A tricky situation arose as the air traffic controller's radio crackled again with the request to take the aircraft to the parking bay. "Aye," came the response. "Now my pilot will take over promptly," said the monarch as a backup pilot took control of the aircraft's yoke and taxied it to the parking bay.
- Borneo Bulletin
(22 December 2012)