Last week on The Phoenix Auto Glass Blog, we covered stories about shooting through windshields. Some of the stories involved police officers who fired their weapons through a windshield of were shot at through their windshield. Today, we take a look at airplane windshields that broke while the plane was still in flight.
A Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta, GA to Orange County, CA was filled with frightened passengers when their Captain announced that they were going to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma. The windshield on the Boeing 737 had cracked mid-flight; however, they were able to land the airplane safely.
“No glass is broken or anything like that, [we just] cannot continue on to Santa Ana." the pilot says.
Aircraft windshields are designed to withstand air pressure at 400 knots and survive hitting a bird without catastrophic failure. Cracks are usually discovered while the plane is on the ground and they can be terrifying when they happen in the air. The Federal Aviation Administration has records of 20 in-flight cracking incidents since 1982, 12 of them on commercial airliners.
August 13th, a United Airlines flight from Jessore Airport to Dhaka had to make an emergency landing when the co-pilots windshield blew away, which sucked all of the loose items from the cockpit out of the window. The co-pilot was injured and after landing, he was rushed to a city hospital. He sustained cuts and bruises on his face, arms, neck and eyelids.
“As for me, I thought [it] was my end. [The] faces of my parents and siblings flashed before my eyes.” Stated a passenger.
It was suspected that cabin pressure differentiation might have caused the damage. Airline Authorities stuck to the decision of operating the flight despite the fact there was a crack in the windshield prior to take-off.
The FAA is still trying to figure out a mysterious windshield crack that caused an airline from Tampa to make an emergency landing.
U.S. Airways flight 265 was carrying 119 passengers from Tampa to Albuquerque, N.M. Some of the passengers had no idea what was going on when the plane started to descend.
"We were told to buckle our seat belts, that there was some turbulence and immediately we started descending and then we were notified that there was some sort of mechanical issue," said passenger Diane Koningsor.
"I think once we touched down it was a little bit scarier seeing the actual windshield and knowing that we touched down and what could have been," she said.
Paul Ryans, the Operations Manager at SunTec Auto Glass stated, “A broken windshield is always a safety hazard, but the danger is increased when it happens while an airplane is in flight. The amount of air pressure on both sides of the windshield can put a lot of stress on the glass. In addition, if your car lost a windshield while you were driving you would be inconvenienced, but would not necessarily face any immediate danger. When an airplane loses a windshield mid-flight, the pilot cannot simply pull over until help arrives. The Pilot would be forced to make an emergency landing and the cabin pressure would cause chaos in the cockpit, making the landing process very difficult. It does not matter what vehicle we are discussing, broken windshields are simply not safe”.
If you live in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area and require a windshield replacement or auto glass repair, contact SunTec Auto Glass today. Our windshield replacement and auto glass repair technicians are NGA (National Glass Association) certified and service all vehicle makes and models. We use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) auto glass and OEM parts, because you and your family's safety matters. We work with every auto insurance company and we accept most forms of payment. We offer free mobile service to Maricopa and Pinal Counties for your convenience. To schedule your windshield replacement, auto glass repair, auto glass tinting or auto glass etching, please contact us at (602) 753-6050 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.