Windshield of AI Dreamliner cracks during landing at Melbourne; aircraft grounded
In its latest series of mishaps, the windshield of a Dreamliner of Air India cracked as the plane landed at Melbourne airport today though there was no threat to about 100 people on board, airline officials said.
Air India's local manager Madhu C Mathen said the windshield of the aircraft which landed at Melbourne this morning suffered damage and a new one was being brought in tomorrow's flight.
"The new windshield will be fixed and the aircraft will be ready soon," he said, adding that the passengers were adjusted in other flights for their onward journey. AI-311 was operating from Delhi to Sydney via Melbourne with around 80 passengers and 12 crew members.
Air India officials here said the Dreamliner was grounded at Melbourne following the incident but maintained that the cracks on the windshield caused no threat to the aircraft as these were made of very thick glass and plastic material.
"Engineers and materials (including the windshield) are being sent by AI-302 (Delhi-Sydney-Melbourne)," one of them said. Air India sources said the airline would conduct an internal probe to find the cause of the incident, which according to some officials could have occurred during the flight.
The sources said rapid changes in outside temperature could be the reason behind the incident, adding however that the results of the inquiry should be awaited.
In January, the global Dreamliner fleet was grounded for four months following two battery fire incidents in Japanese airlines' aircraft.
There have been quite a few instances of Air India's Dreamliner fleet suffering technical glitches, including overheating of one of the plane's ovens in Kolkata in July.
A panel of Air India's Dreamliner fell off at Bangalore airport on October 12. A technical problem involving the aircraft's spoiler had led to the cancellation of a flight from Melbourne to Delhi on October 28.