Air New Zealand plane completes 13-hour return loop after developing in-flight problem

The pilots noticed a problem in flight, but chose to return rather than continue to China.

Flightradar24/Provided

The pilots noticed a problem in flight, but chose to return rather than continue to China.

An Air New Zealand jet ended up doing a 13-hour loop, after developing an in-flight problem with its windscreen.

On Friday July 1, NZ287 was scheduled to fly from Christchurch to Shanghai as a cargo-only flight.

However, flight tracking data reveals the aircraft made a steep turn more than halfway through the flight and returned to New Zealand.

An Air New Zealand spokesman said the plane had been “diverted to Auckland as a precaution due to minor windscreen abrasion”.

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“The decision to divert to Auckland was made due to the proximity of the Auckland maintenance facility and the capacity and parts needed to repair it.”

China still has strict Covid-19 isolation requirements for international arrivals, and an extended stay in Shanghai awaiting parts could have given the airline a headache.

Earlier this year, an Air New Zealand Boeing 787 had another windshield problem and had to divert to Hong Kong. However, it ended in a nightmare for the crew, who were stuck on the plane for hours because they did not meet Covid-19 entry requirements.

This is not the first time an Air New Zealand flight has been forced to turn back mid-flight to Shanghai.

The aircraft that developed windshield issues on both occasions was the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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The aircraft that developed windshield issues on both occasions was the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

In 2019, a 787 flew back into the air after a paperwork problem.

Air New Zealand’s flight from Auckland to Shanghai had been around four and a half hours in the air when a ‘technical problem’ was discovered which meant the plane was not registered in China, the airline said. airline company. The flight returned to Auckland.