The aircraft was forced to turn around to the airport (Picture: Getty)
A Boeing 737-800 with 59 passengers was forced to turn back to its departure airport in Japan after the pilot made a horrifying discovery in the cockpit.
A crack in the cockpit window was found on the ‘outermost’ of four window layers, prompting the pilot to return Flight 1182 to Sapporo-New Chistose Airport.
The All Nippon Airways flight was headed towards Toyama airport when it was forced to divert.
The plane landed safety back at its departure airport around noon yesterday, with no injuries reported from those onboard.
A spokesman for ANA said: ‘The crack was not something that affected the flight’s control or pressurisation.’
The cause of the crack in the cockpit window is currently unknown, but an aviation expert told BBC news the cause could be from a number of things.
John Strickland told BBC News: ‘These things do sometimes happen, something may have struck the window, for example a bird, a large hailstone, it’s not unheard of.
‘You might occasionally get a stress fracture too, from wear and tear, but that’s very rare.
‘It’s a bit like triple glazing, it all needs to be intact. These things do happen, it’s impossible to quantify how frequently, but they can be pretty dangerous if not they’re not fixed.’
The Boeing plane in question was not one of the Boeing 737 Max 9 planes, however, though the US head of transportation has grounded all of those for the time being.
The aircraft’s safety was called into question after a window blew off an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after it took off from Portland International Airport, causing the cabin to depressurise.
In the days following the incident, United Airlines has discovered loose bolts on the plug doors of several Boeing 737 Max 9 planes in their fleet.