IN PICTURES | Cracked window forces passenger plane to make emergency landing
A Southwest Airlines passenger jet made an emergency landing in Cleveland in the United States on Wednesday after a window pane cracked mid-flight.
No one was injured in the incident, which came two weeks after an engine on a Southwest 737 ripped apart in flight and shattered a window, killing a female passenger in the first US airline passenger fatality since 2009.
The cause of Wednesday’s crack in one of the window’s multiple panes was not immediately known.
The Boeing 737-700 took off from Chicago Midway International Airport at 8.53am (2.53pm South African time) and landed in Cleveland at 10.46am, according to the FlightAware website.
The airline said that the crew diverted the plane to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport for “maintenance review of one of the multiple layers of a window pane” and that the flight landed “uneventfully”.
“The aircraft has been taken out of service for maintenance review, and our local Cleveland employees are working diligently to accommodate the 76 customers on a new aircraft to Newark,” it said in a statement.
Flight 957 “maintained pressurisation” as there are multiple layers of panes in each window, the airline said.
Pictures posted to social media appeared to show a lengthy crack in one of the passenger windows on the jet.
On April 17, a mid-air engine explosion on Southwest Flight 1380, saw flying shrapnel shatter a window, partially sucking a 43-year-old banking executive out of the plane. The woman later died.
President Donald Trump met the crew and passengers at the White House on Tuesday, praising the “incredible job” Captain Tammie Jo Shults did in landing the plane safely in Philadelphia with 149 people on board.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Tony Molinaro said the organisation was investigating the incident. The FAA on Tuesday ordered additional inspections of fan blades in hundreds of additional engines similar to the one that failed in the deadly Southwest accident.
Meanwhile in India, a flight ran into such severe turbulence that the inside part of a window panel came off mid-flight.