Windshield crack in VNA plane forces emergency landing

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A Vietnam Airlines flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi had to make an emergency landing midway through its route after the crew found a crack on the cockpit windshield.

The flight, VN1118, departed the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC at 9:20 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport in two hours.

However, the crew announced an emergency landing at Da Nang Airport just 40 minutes after taking off, a passenger told Tuoi Tre.

An official from Vietnam Airlines confirmed the emergency landing was due to a crack in the cockpit windshield, but provided no further details.

All passengers and luggage were transferred to another airplane that took off from Da Nang Airport in the evening, he said.

Earlier, a source from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) said the agency would carry out safety checks on aircraft operated by local carriers, especially those with more than 35,000 flights. The checks followed reports of fuselage rupture in a Boeing 737-300 aircraft on April 1 in the US.

However, CAAV also said that there was no Boeing 737-300 being used by the four local carriers - Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Vasco and Air Mekong who own a total of more than 100 aircraft, of which the oldest have been operating for 15-20 years.

On April 1, an older-model Southwest Airlines 737-300 was forced to make an emergency landing in Arizona, the US, after a 5-foot tear opened up in its fuselage 20 minutes after takeoff.

The incident prompted Southwest, the largest US domestic airline by passengers flown, to ground planes and cancel hundreds of flights over the weekend so it could inspect more than 70 of its older model 737-300s, Reuters reported on April 8.

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