Monday, 9 February 2009

Bhutan : Another scare for Druk Air

7 February, 2009 - Cracks on a flight deck windscreen yesterday forced a Druk Air plane to make an emergency landing at Kolkata international airport. No one was hurt.

Druk Air flight KB-123 was flying from Bangkok to Gaya.

The Druk Air pilot, on noticing the cracks, contacted Kolkata air traffic control for an immediate landing. The aircraft landed safely at 10:00 am without any injury to passengers and crew members.

This is the second such incident to have affected a Druk Air flight. The first occurred in May last year.

Druk Air’s managing director, Tandin Jamtsho, told Kuensel that they sent technical engineers to Kolkata, along with a new windshield.

Tandin Jamtsho said that the cause of the cracks was not known, adding that, in such a situation, damaged parts were sent to the manufacturer for investigation.

The flight to Katmandu and Nepal, scheduled on February 6, was cancelled because the aircraft was used to carry the stranded passengers at Kolkata to their destination.

Druk Air’s engineering and maintenance division, general manager Thrimchong Wangdi, said that the cracked windscreen was replaced. He said, however, that fatality in such situations was minimal, as there were other elements, such as nuts and bolts, that prevented the windscreen from blowing out.

“In a similar incident in May last year, the report from the manufacturer blamed a short circuit of the heating elements in the multi-piled windscreen that prevent fog and frost,” he said.

The windshield bought earlier for about US$ 9000 would be sent to its manufacturer in the United States and the aircraft with the new windshield is expected to be back in Paro by 8:30 am today. Around 50 passengers to Delhi and Kathmandu were stranded yesterday because of the cancellation of their flight.

By Passang Norbu

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