ATCL’s return to the skies cut short as cockpit window cracks


Information is emerging from Dar es Salaam, that embattled Air Tanzania, upon taking to the skies once again last Friday, has suffered a setback on the maiden flight to Kigoma.

The 39 passengers boarding from there to fly to Dar es Salaam were perhaps already wary as this particular aircraft had a takeoff incident last year in Kigoma which grounded the plane for almost 9 months after hitting a pothole, then swerving off the runway and suffering landing gear collapse, hull and engine damages at the time. No passengers or crew suffered injuries at the time but some scary moments before being able to get off the stricken craft, pat themselves down and thank their luck to be intact.

Putting their faith once again in the nominally still national airline of Tanzania, they had a rude awakening however once more when soon after takeoff one of the cockpit windows developed a crack, compelling the crew to return to Kigoma to await a spare and replacement.

Ok this is a bit of bad luck but nothing anyone could have foreseen’ said a regular aviation source from Dar es Salaam before continuing ‘I am sure the plane was very thoroughly checked and inspected by the TCAA before ATCL was given a certificate of airworthiness for this repaired Bombardier Q 300. TCAA would never yield to political pressure, so they would not do favours like this. And in addition, a window can crack any time for wear and tear. It happens but the lamination of aircraft windows is multiple layers of redundancy so there was never any danger for passengers. Some pilots may even have flown to Dar es Salaam but this crew decided it was best to return to Kigoma. Just a stroke of bad luck and bad PR because that will be reported and passenger may wonder if they should not book with other airlines’.

That said, while entirely true, will definitely impact on ATCL’s return to the skies as the plane, due to fly multiple services since the incident, was still grounded at the time of filing this report, leading to cancellation of scheduled flights and denting ATCL’s reputation yet another time. Watch this space for breaking and regular news from East Africa’s vibrant aviation scene.

4 Responses

  1. How old is the plane? I wonder if the crack came about as a result of loose debris on the tarmac/runway? After all if the runway had a pothole, what is some loose debris flying around?

  2. Wolfgang, I noticed while looking around the internet that a group of Omani investors are behind the return of Air Tanzania. Any specifics — is it royal or other investment funds?

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