Crack Found On Cockpit Window Forces Boeing 737 To Return To Airport In Japan

(Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A Japanese domestic Boeing 737 airplane turned around in midflight and returned to its departure airport Saturday after a crack was observed in the cockpit window, according to several reports.

The All Nippon Airways (ANA) Flight 1182 was flying over Hakodate en route to Toyama airport when the crack was noticed on the outermost of the four layers of the cockpit’s window, forcing the aircraft back to Sapporo’s New Chitose airport, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported. There were no reported injuries to the 59 passengers and six crew members on board.

“The crack was not something that affected the flight’s control or pressurization,” an ANA spokesperson said, per the BBC.

The aircraft reportedly landed safely in Sapporo and the passengers were placed on alternative flights.

While the cause of the crack was not yet clear, the incident was not a rarity, aviation expert John Strickland told the BBC. “These things do sometimes happen, something may have struck the window, for example a bird, a large hailstone, it’s not unheard of,” he reportedly said. “You might occasionally get a stress fracture too, from wear and tear, but that’s very rare.” (RELATED: Biden Admin Launches Probe Into Boeing After Alaska Airlines Inflight Incident)

The incident came eleven days after the fiery crash at Tokyo’s Haneda airport of a Japan Airlines Airbus A350 airplane after it collided with a Coast Guard aircraft in midair Jan. 2, and eight days after a plug-type passenger door fell off an Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX-9 airplane in midflight Jan. 5.

The ANA Flight 1182 was a Boeing 737-800, not a Boeing 737 MAX-9, per Reuters. The Boeing Company, nevertheless, has come under increased scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the flying public following the discovery of loose bolts and nuts in some of its 737 airplanes both before and after the Alaska Airlines incident.

Fighting tears, Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun praised the Alaska Airlines crew for their handling of the incident, acknowledged “our mistake,” and called for complete transparency, accountability, and safety during a Jan 9 webcast.

The FAA grounded every Boeing 737 MAX with plug doors Jan. 6 and launched an investigation into Boeing’s compliance with FAA standards Jan. 12, according to an FAA statement.