Air Asia flight from Kolkata makes emergency landing after hailstorm cracks windshield

An AirAsia flight to Bagdogra with 171 passengers on March 3 2020 encountered a hailstorm soon after takeoff and was forced to make an emergency landing in the airport here after the pilot suspected damage to the windshield, the airlines said in a statement on Wednesday.

AirAsia flight I5 536, which took off from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport, was hit by hailstones as it was making its ascent and had reached around 12,000 feet above ground on Tuesday evening, an official said.

The pilot contacted Air Traffic control and sought permission for an emergency landing. Given the green signal, the plane touched down safely.

Confirming that the plane encountered a hail storm after takeoff, AirAsia India in an official statement said: “Suspecting damage to the windshield, the crew elected to return to Kolkata and have the aircraft inspected”.

“We reiterated that we place safety and security foremost in all aspects of operations and apologise for the inconvenience caused, said the airline’s chief of safety.

A replacement A320-200 registration VT-CCU reached Bagdogra with a delay of 3 hours.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground for about 20 hours, then returned to service.

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