Boeing 757 ‘9N-ACB’ Gandaki of Nepal Airline Corporation (NAC) which was sent to Malaysia for repair and maintenance has been grounded as soon as the aircraft touched down Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) after a maintenance schedule completion.
The only Boeing 757 of the corporation arrived Nepal after 81 days on Wednesday (January 16). Boeing 757 was grounded immediately after landing at Kathmandu as Windshield of the cockpit cracked in the mid air while flying back to Kathmandu.
According to a corporation source, the windshield of the right side of cockpit cracked after reaching India’s sky while flying back to Nepal from Malaysia. The windshield cracked when aircraft reached Kolkata. Three layers of glasses are placed in cockpit. Among them, transparent plastic glass made of chemical was cracked, the source reported.
If there is danger, then the aircraft must land to nearby international airport in order to prevent the plane crash.
“Our pilots landed on TIA without claiming emergency,” said one of the corporation’s pilot. the pilots didn’t have to announce emergency but ATC of TIA tower made the priority landing to Boeing 757.
Captain RB Shrestha and SS Rana brought the aircraft to Nepal from Malaysia. There were no passengers on-board. There were 7 officers including engineer on board.
Pratap Babu Tiwari, Spokesperson of TIA stated that the pilots informed Kolkata tower about windshield crack half an hour before landing to Kathmandu. Kolkata tower informed TIA tower after bringing down the aircraft to 10,500 feet (low level) from 21000 feet.
There is an international law to provide priority landing for the aircraft in such problem.
Tiwari informed that TIA taking prevention measures to stop disaster kept fire brigade and Nepalese Army alert.
The aircraft has been in Malaysia for last couple of months for repair and maintenance. The aircraft was sent to Malaysia by the engineering department of the corporation around 2 months ago for repairing thermal blanket and c-duct.
The aircraft was scheduled to be back earlier however a c-duct brought from Malaysia was re-fitted after the c-duct shipped from America did not fit in the aircraft extending the maintenance time.
The repair and maintenance of Boeing 757 reached an estimated cost of NRs. 15 Millions.
NAC bought two Boeing 757s in 1987 from an American Company and then operated it for more than 30 years. Out of two 757, one with registration ‘9N-ACA’ named ‘Karnali’ has already been sold to BB Airways. The corporation decided to sell Boeing 757 stating need of extra human resource to operate and maintain aircraft of 2 different companies and Airbus being relatively easy to operate and maintain.
At present, NAC operates international flight operation with 5 aircraft (2 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and a Boeing 757).