Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight diverted due to crack in windshield of Boeing aircraft

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Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing

On June 24, Monday night, a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight from Chittagong to Abu Dhabi had to make an emergency landing in Dhaka due to a crack in the aircraft’s windshield. The incident, involving flight BG-127, brought panic among passengers and local residents alike as the plane circled the skies for hours before landing safely.

Flight BG-127, a Boeing 737 aircraft, departed Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport at 10:04 PM local time with 146 passengers on board, including 13 business class and 133 economy class travelers. The flight was bound for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. However, shortly after takeoff, the pilot detected a small crack in the windshield, which quickly escalated into a significant safety concern.

The pilot decided to divert the flight to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. However, due to the necessity to burn off excess fuel before landing as per aviation safety regulations, the aircraft circled over the Belabo area of Narsingdi for approximately three hours. This prolonged circling alarmed both passengers and local residents, who witnessed the unusual sight of a plane looping repeatedly in the sky.

Inside the aircraft, the situation was tense. Passengers were informed about the windshield crack and the precautionary measures being taken. Despite the crew’s reassurances, panic spread among the travelers, especially as the plane continued to circle. The prolonged airborne time without a clear explanation contributed to the anxiety.

On the ground, residents of Narsingdi also grew concerned as they observed the plane circling repeatedly. Many called the National Emergency Service, 999, seeking information about the unusual flight pattern. The sight of a commercial aircraft looping in the sky at night was unprecedented and caused significant alarm.

Azizur Rahman, the Officer in Charge of Belabo police station, confirmed that numerous calls were received from worried residents. “People called the police station and wanted to know the incident. However, it was not seen later,” he stated, referring to the eventual safe landing of the plane in Dhaka.

At Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, preparations for an emergency landing were swiftly put into action. The airport authorities, along with the air traffic control (ATC) tower, coordinated to ensure a safe landing. Instructions were given for the aircraft to circle over Narsingdi until it was deemed safe to land.

Finally, at 1:25 AM, after nearly three and a half hours in the air, the aircraft landed safely at Dhaka’s airport. Emergency crews were on standby, but fortunately, their services were not needed as the landing was executed without incident.

Md. Salimullah, the Station Manager at Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport, confirmed the sequence of events and emphasized the precautionary nature of the emergency landing. “The flight took off from Chittagong to Abu Dhabi at around 10 PM. The pilot noticed a small crack in the windshield during the flight and decided to land immediately due to greater safety considerations,” he explained.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ Chief Engineer, ARBO Kaiser Zaman, addressed the incident, reassuring that it was not a major safety threat. “This is not a major incident. After the flight, the pilot noticed a small crack in the windshield. It was then decided to land due to greater safety considerations, and it landed safely,” he said.

He also mentioned that the damaged windshield was reported to Boeing, the aircraft’s manufacturer. “The matter has been reported to Boeing. They asked to send the damaged glass for testing. The damaged windshield was replaced overnight, and the aircraft is operational,” Zaman added.

This incident is not an isolated one for Biman Bangladesh Airlines. There have been previous instances of windshield cracks in the airline’s fleet. Two Boeing 787 Dreamliner and another Boeing 737 have experienced similar issues in the past. This recurrence has raised concerns about the durability and maintenance of the windshields in the airline’s aircraft.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has assured that all necessary safety measures are in place to prevent such incidents in the future. The airline maintains that passenger safety is their utmost priority, and they are working closely with Boeing to investigate and resolve any potential issues with the aircraft windshields.

In the wake of the emergency landing, passengers were accommodated and sent to Abu Dhabi on another flight later that night. While the experience was undoubtedly stressful, the swift actions of the pilot and the crew ensured that all 146 passengers reached their destination safely.

The incident highlights the critical importance of stringent safety protocols in aviation. It serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of air travel and the necessity for airlines to be prepared for all eventualities. Despite the anxiety and inconvenience caused, the safe landing of flight BG-127 stands as a testament to the effectiveness of these safety measures.

As aviation authorities and Biman Bangladesh Airlines continue their investigation, passengers and the public can rest assured that every step is being taken to enhance safety and prevent similar incidents in the future.

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