By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
The windscreen of SriLankan UL 503, carrying 262 passengers and 16 crew members to London, cracked, 33,000 ft in midair, creating a panic situation, Ceylon Today learns.
Spokesperson for SriLankan Airlines, Deepal Perera, when contacted, said the flight was somewhere above Mumbai when the captain detected the crack on the windscreen. The flight made an emergency landing two hours later at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
When asked if it was struck by a bird or if was due to a technical error, Perera said an investigation was on to ascertain the reason behind the crack. "Such things do occur," he said, and added that it was not a major issue.
The passengers were on direct flight to London and UL 503 took off from the BIA at 2:25 p.m. The emergency landing had taken place at 4:20 p.m. Perera added that when the flight returned,the passengers were checked into hotels in the vicinity and boarded on another flight, UL 503 at about 2.00 a.m. The aircraft which was purchased about four years ago, is under repair.