A SriLankan airline flight from Colombo to London on January 1 was forced to return to the Bandaranaike International Air Port (BIA) some 45 minutes after the take-off when the cockpit crew observed a crack on one of the windshields.
At no point did the captain lose control or did the plane go into a nosedive, the airline said in a statement.
“In the interest of the safety of passengers and the aircraft, the pilots decided to return to Colombo for the replacement of the windshield.”
The full statement
With reference to a media report on a SriLankan flight allegedly making a nosedive, SriLankan Airlines wishes to clarify that at no point did the captain of the flight lose control of the flight or it experienced a nosedive.
On 1st of January at 1435hrs SriLankan flight UL 503 departed Colombo, for London Heathrow Airport. Approximately 45 minutes after the take-off, the cockpit crew observed a crack in the windshield. The windshield of the aircraft has three layers of glass and it was the centre-layer which had developed the crack.
As per the manufacturers’ recommended procedure the pilots descended the aircraft to 10,000ft as a precautionary measure to minimize the differential pressure on the windshield. Therefore, in the interest of the passengers’ safety and the aircraft, the pilots decided to return to Colombo for the replacement of the windshield.
Accordingly, the flight UL 503 returned to Bandaranaike International Airport at 1630hrs without incident. SriLankan wishes to emphasise that it is the standard procedure for any airline to descend to 10, 000 ft to prevent the differential pressure on the windshield and at no stage the aircraft or the passengers’ safety was compromised.
Currently the investigations are underway to identify the exact reasons in order to prevent incidents of similar nature. SriLankan wishes to reiterate that the Airline always maintains the highest safety standards the industry requires, and considers the well-being of the passengers its foremost priority which under no circumstance will be compromised.