New Delhi: The windshield of an Air India`s Dreamliner aircraft, operating on Delhi-Melbourne-Sydney route with 86 passengers 12 crew members onboard, cracked as the plane landed at Melbourne airport on Monday.
The national carrier said in a statement issued late evening that the crack was noticed on the outer layer of the windsheild after landing.
"However, there was no drop in air pressure as the inner layer of the wind shield was intact. As such, there was no safety risk involved," an Air India spokesperson said in the statement.
Air India flight (AI-302) to Sydney via Melbourne left with 74 passengers and 12 crew members on board as per schedule from Delhi yesterday.
The officials said the Dreamliner was grounded at Melbourne following the incident as the windshield needs to be replaced.
"Air India has already sent the technicians along with the required spare parts (including windshield) by today`s flight (AI-302), which would reach Melbourne tomorrow morning," the spokesperson said.
The official said incidents of windshield cracks were experienced by all airlines on different aircraft types and it was not specific only to Boeing aircraft.
There were 127 passengers booked for the return flight (AI-301) today and was to be operated with the same aircraft which developed cracks in the windshield.
"AI officials at Melbourne and Sydney have facilitated the
stranded passengers who were offered to be tranferred to other airlines` flight today or tomorrow`s Air India flight back to India," he said.
The airline sources said the national carrier would conduct an internal probe to find the cause of the windshield crack 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.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it had sought a report on the incident from the airline.
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 had fallen 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.