A major accident was averted on Friday after a Druk Air flight from Bangkok to Gaya,en route Paro in Bhutan,developed a crack in its windshield while flying over Kolkata airspace.
Flight KB 123,with 90 passengers on board,made an emergency landing at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at around 8.23 am.
A major windshield crack results in the air entering the cockpit. This can increase the air pressure,which may crack the windshield completely.
The first alarm was raised around 7.50 am when the pilot of the Druk Air flight contacted Kolkata Air Traffic Control and requested for an emergency landing.
At that time,the flight was close to Dhanbad in Bihar,about 130 nautical miles away from the Kolkata airport. At 22,000 feet above the sea level,the pilot felt that since the crack was a major one,the plane will not be able to make it to Gaya. The flight,thus,landed in Kolkata. The passengers vacated the plane around 8:45 am.
Around 11:30 am,another Druk Air flight was ferried from Bhutan,which carried a new windshield and engineers belonging to the airline. The 90 passengers were accommodated in the new flight that took off at 12.45 pm.