Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Windshield crack aborts AI flight

New Delhi: Dreamliner windshield cracks are back to haunt Air India. An AI Boeing 787 had to return to Delhi soon after taking off for Kolkata on Tuesday after the windshield cracked. The plane (VT-ANG) landed safely and then passengers were sent to their destination by another aircraft.
An airline spokesman confirmed the latest incident of a Dreamliner windshield crack, which comes within a fortnight of a similar incident on another B-787. The Delhi-Dubai flight of AI on Christmas had to return to the capital for this reason. And a few months before that, another AI Dreamliner flying from Frankfurt to Delhi had to be diverted to Tehran after its windshield cracked mid-air.
On Tuesday, AI 020 took off for Kolkata at 2.29 pm. A few minutes into the flight, the windshield cracked and then it returned to Delhi where it landed safely at 3.20 pm. During the return flight, the aircraft flew below 4,000 metre.
The airline has been facing issues with Dreamliner windshields, though in past two to three years the issue had subsided. Three years back cracked windshields were a regular occurrence on the Dreamliners.
In summer of 2014, the aviation ministry had admitted in Parliament that cracked windshields was then a regular occurrence on the Dreamliners. "The on-going investigation by Boeing indicates that moisture ingress has resulted in an increased rate of occurrence (of windshield cracks). A new window design with improved features is in progress to reduce such incidents," the ministry had told Parliament in a written reply three years back.
10/01/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India