BHUBANESWAR: A Bhubaneswar-bound Air India flight (AI 873) from Delhi had to make an emergency landing at Lucknow airport at 12.37 pm on Tuesday after its co-pilot detected a crack in the windshield of the cockpit.
All 169 passengers and crew members on board were safe after the flight was grounded.
The Airbus-321 was flying at 38,000 feet over Khajuraho when the pilot informed passengers over the intercom that they would be making an emergency landing in Lucknow, soon after he spotted a crack on the inner side of the nose of the aircraft.
Airport sources said there was a minor crack in the windshield forcing the pilot to land at Lucknow airport. The flight had left Delhi at 11.30 am and was scheduled to land in Bhubaneswar at 1.15 pm.
”The pilot took a call for an emergency landing at 11.54 am and sought permission of Lucknow air traffic control to land. The flight was grounded at 12.37 pm on Amausi airport,” Lucknow airport director S C Hota said.
All necessary arrangements were made for the passengers of AI-873 and the aircraft placed under maintenance, Hota added. The fault for which the crack appeared is being investigated.
All the windshields are double paned and it was the interior one which developed a crack. The aircraft was declared healthy for take off after its ground engineers inspected it at the Delhi airport, an official said on condition of anonymity.
“It may be because of the pressure which developed in the cockpit mid-air which resulted in an arch on the glass and then cracked it. The pilot’s decision to divert the plane and make an emergency landing was quick and wise which averted a major mishap,” the official added.