Pakistan Internation Airlines, PIA, Boeing 777 pilots had to make a U-turn back to Pakistan due to a cracked cockpit window.

Passenger flight PK9753 took off from Islamabad International Airport (ISB), Pakistan on December 17, 2021.  It was en route to Riyadh, King Khaled International Airport (RUH) in Saudi Arabia. 

The pilots turned back to Pakistan when the aircraft was cruising at 36,000ft in the Iranian Airspace, near Zahedan, Radarbox.com data shows. The aircraft landed in Karachi Jinnah International Airport (KHI), Pakistan.

The reason for the U-turn was the discovery of cracks on the cockpit window, Aviation Herald reports. The cracks were found on the side window of the cockpit. 

The aircraft involved in the incident is the airline’s Boeing 777-200, registered as AP-BHX. The widebody is 14 years old and was delivered to PIA in March 2007, planespotter.net data shows. 

Following an inspection in Karachi, the aircraft side window was replaced and the aircraft continued the journey to Riyadh, local press reported. Flight tracking websites show the AP-BHX making a KHI-RUH flight later on the same day. 

Earlier the same week, on December 12, 2021, another PIA flight originating from ISB was involved in an incident. The flight to Karachi was diverted twice reportedly due to a technical issue with an Airbus A320 engine. After the second return to Islamabad, all but six passengers reportedly refused to continue with the journey. 

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A PIA Airbus A320 passenger jet was forced to return to its airport of departure after reportedly suffering a technical issue