NewsChilling skies: Window damage leads to emergency UK flight return

Chilling skies: Window damage leads to emergency UK flight return

Dangerous incident during flight
Dangerous incident during flight
Images source: © Air Accidents Investigation Branch

9:57 AM EST, November 10, 2023

A perilous incident transpired during a flight from the United Kingdom to the USA. Once high in the sky, passengers noticed an unusual drop in temperature and an increase in noise levels. It was discovered that some of the aircraft's windows were damaged, which forced the plane to return to London.

As described by the UK's Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), this unusual situation took place on October 4. The Airbus A321 in question was en route from London to Orlando, Florida.

The flight experiences a frightening incident

When the aircraft reached approximately 14,764 feet in altitude, passengers and crew started noticing that something was off. The cabin became uncomfortably cold and the noise levels were alarmingly high. According to CNN, it was "loud enough to cause hearing damage".

The AAIB bulletin reports that a crew member noticed a problem with the left cabin window,. "He observed the window seal fluttering in the airstream, with the pane appearing to have shifted."

Upon receiving the information about the damaged window, the pilot promptly decided to return to London Airport. Passengers were instructed to secure their seatbelts, while air hostesses briefed them on the use of oxygen masks as a precautionary measure.

Thankfully, the plane landed safely after spending 36 minutes in the air. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident. Post landing, an inspection revealed that two windows lacked the outer panes, the third pane had "fallen out", and the fourth one was "protruding".

The incident report indicated that the consequences could have been "more severe" if the window's "integrity" had been "compromised at a higher pressure difference".

In-depth investigation revealed that the windows had undergone "thermal damage" after being exposed to intense light for an extended period of four to five hours a day before. It was found that these lights were used for film recording purposes at the airport.

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