An All Nippon Airways (ANA) domestic flight was forced to turn back to New Chitose Airport (CTS) in Japan as the flight crew reported a crack in the cockpit window midair.
The incident unfolded on January 13, 2024, involving the Japanese carrier’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft, registered JA56AN. The flight history found on Flightradar24.com revealed that the jet, on its daily domestic flight NH-1182 between Sapporo (CTS) and Toyama (TOY), was carrying 59 passengers and six crew members.
At approximately 2:34 a.m. (UTC), while cruising at FL340, about 160 nautical miles south of Sapporo, the crew observed a crack in the outer pane of one of the windshields. Responding promptly to the alarming situation, the flight crew decided to reroute the 737 for an emergency landing in Sapporo. Just over an hour after departure, the jet safely touched down without any reported injuries or further incidents.
Even though the ANA spokesperson confirmed that the crack “[…] was not something that affected the flight’s control or pressurization,” cockpit window cracks can significantly affect aircraft air systems that control pressurization, leading to decompression, posing a great threat of hypoxia to both crew members and passengers.
The recent incident is the first involving a Japanese airline’s Boeing 737 aircraft this year.
According to the Planespotters.com registry, the carrier currently operates a total of 39 jets of this type with an average age of 11 years.