Air India’s (AI) Dreamliner woes don’t seem to end. The cockpit windshield of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft – AI’s newest jet – cracked as the plane landed in Melbourne on Sunday forcing the airline to ground the aircraft and rush engineers from Delhi.
The airline said there was no safety risk to the 74 passengers on board who were accommodated on other airlines for onward journey to Sydney. Aviation safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, is probing the incident.
The AI 311 Delhi-Melbourne-Sydney flight had taken off on Sunday afternoon and the windshield cracked as the plane landed in Melbourne. “If it (cracking) is due to arcing, then it is another electrical issue and that puts a question mark on the electrical system. AI cannot be complacent about the repeated glitches in the Dreamliner,” said aviation safety expert Captain Mohan Ranganathan.
“Windshield cracking can happen in any aircraft and there many possible reasons for it,” an AI official said.
The B787 has been hit by repeated glitches. Last month, a large panel on a 787’s fuselage flew off when the aircraft was landing at the Bangalore airport with 148 people on board. An AI Dreamliner flight was forced to return back to Melbourne after take-off last week due to a technical snag.
In January, the US aviation regulator had grounded the B787’s globally as they investigated a battery fire. AI recently had oven overheating in its aircraft that led to electric systems of ovens being changed on all its B-787.
US plane maker Boeing has positioned a team of experts in India for assistance. AI has ordered 27 Boeing 787 aircraft, of which it has received nine. The tenth aircraft is likely to arrive in India in the first week of November.