Jawed
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Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 12:36 pm

What happens in the cockpit if the window cracks during flight?

see here:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1208567/L/

I assume an emergency landing is requested immediately? Is there some sort of eye protection that the pilots can don? My biggest concern, if the window actually breaks completely, would be debris and wind hitting pilots in the eyes, making it impossible for the pilots to perform ANY functions.

Apparently an open window during takeoff is no problem in a 737, as can be seen in this Boeing test video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_87KqdX7PE
 
Newark777
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 12:38 pm

Usually, it's just one of many layers that's cracked, and it's not a case of imminent danger.

Harry
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SkyexRamper
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 12:56 pm

I'm sure the crew had requested, and got, priority handling with ATC and advised them of the issue. The only time you really need to worry is when both front pains of glass are cracked like that and/or the interior pain starts to give. There was a story is an issue of FLYING magazine with-in the last year about a USAir airbus that was climbing out of TPA to PHL when the FO glass started to crack, but during that time both pains of glass end up cracking with pieces of glass flying at the FO. All he could do was lower his seat to the floor and hope the heck the glass didn't blow out any more.
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aa777223er
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 1:06 pm

I was working on an A300 JFK-SJU a few years ago, and the heater on the CA's side windshield went out in flight and the windshield shattered completely, you couldn't see through it at all. We were about 45 minutes from MIA (where the A/C could get serviced) so we descended down to around 10,000 ft. IIRC, and the pilots reduced the cabin pressure. We then continued on to MIA and landed uneventfully. The plane was removed from service for repair. Wasn't too big a deal at all (except our SJU layover got a couple of hours shorter! lol)

Regards,

AA777223ER
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OPNLguy
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 1:27 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 2):
The only time you really need to worry is when both front pains of glass are cracked like that and/or the interior pain starts to give.

Actually, if all the panes of a forward window let go, whichever pilot is sitting behind it may be in for some pain.  Wink

Fortunately, total pane failures are rare, and it's usually the outermost pane that gets cracked.

That bizjet versus glider mid-air over Minden NV some months ago damaged the captain's windshield and instrument panel such that she got hit with broken glass, but she and her co-pilot managed to belly the thing in at Carson City...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
airfinair
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 1:52 pm

Check out the April installment of "Captain's Log" for a first hand account of a cracked windshield:

http://acaptainslog.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html
ORD,MDW,IND,ARB,AMS,AUS,ANQ,DTW,DEN,PHL,PIT,MIA,GPT,SAN,PHX,LAX,SFO,OAK,SEA,LAS,SLC,SMF,ATL,MEM,BOS,MHT,JFK,EWR,LGA,NASâ
 
peh
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 3:30 pm

A cracked window can prompt the pilots to enter a rapid descent to 10,000ft to avoid catastrophic decompression. Nine pax were hospitalised after a Virgin Blue pilot took such action in 2005.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...ding/2005/12/03/1133422141107.html

I haven't encountered too many similar cases. Was this an over-reaction?
Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 6:08 pm

Most Windshields have two layers & toughened by heat thru WHCU [Window heat control unit].
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 6:20 pm

Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
What happens in the cockpit if the window cracks during flight?

I've had it happen to me in a 320 while at FL 390. Funny thing was it happened at the exact instant the flight attendant opened the cockpit door. I will never forget the look on her face!!

On the 320, many years ago, there was no FCOM procedure. So we descended to FL230, reduced the cabin differential and had a phone conversation with the company and Airbus. We continued to our destination with no emergency declared. However, company dispatch made sure we were the first aircraft in.

Turns out the night before the 1L window heat controller was changed and it had failed again in cruise. The failure led to the cracked windscreen.
Fly fast, live slow
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 13, 2007 11:42 pm

Many years ago I met an Iraqui Airlines B732 that diverted into BAH. They had flown through a hailstorm on climd out of DOH. All the windscreens were completley crazed, so you could not see through them. They had done an autoland into BAH with the DV window open to see out. The aircraft was a mess. The slats and leading edge of the stabilsors were demolished, and the nose cowls bent. The Engine intake domes were bent sideways. A team of engineers arrived from Baghdad to fix it. I remember it well because they used all our Thiokol to patch up the stabilisors, then covered them with High speed tape, changed the windscreens and the nose domes and ferried it out. The lead engineer was a girl. This was back in 1980.

On the L1011, if the windscreen cracked you could remove the outer pane and fly it home under the CDL!
 
1stfl94
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Mon May 14, 2007 6:33 am

Wasn't there a BA pilot who got partly sucked out of the window when it broke??
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Mon May 14, 2007 6:36 am

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 10):
Wasn't there a BA pilot who got partly sucked out of the window when it broke??

That wasn't a broken window, per se, it was an entire window that came out because the wrong length screws/fasteners were used... BAC-111, IIRC...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
474218
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Mon May 14, 2007 6:47 am

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 10):
Wasn't there a BA pilot who got partly sucked out of the window when it broke??

The BA window did not break, it was installed with the wrong diameter screws and the window and frame blew out.

The main flight station windows are made of multi layers of acrylic and vinyl with a thin layer of glass on the outer most surface. When the window breaks its only the outer layer of glass that breaks and the crew is in no danger, as the inner layers of acrylic and vinyl can withstand full cabin pressure and the same external impact as the window with the glass intact.

[Edited 2007-05-14 00:02:20]
 
Lt-AWACS
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Mon May 14, 2007 6:52 am

Happens on the E-3 (707) "from time to time". Unless it is a priority mission somewhere we go home and land or find a good divert base near bars and casinos.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
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1stfl94
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Mon May 14, 2007 7:12 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 11):



Quoting 474218 (Reply 12):

Thanks for the clarification guys  Smile
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Mon May 14, 2007 4:56 pm

Had it happen many years ago in a B-727 over the Carribbean. Determined which layer by toucing window with finger and judging dist. between glass and finger. Checklist called for PSID reduction so we descended, raised cabin and went on O2. Recalculated fuel burn and continued to dest. No further problems...CC
 
113312
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Wed May 16, 2007 1:17 pm

I had one fail on a F-27 years ago. I depressurized the plane and made a precautionary landing. We were only at 14000 feet when the window failed but it was in the dead of winter and very cold.
 
FlyHoss
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Wed May 16, 2007 1:27 pm

Thus far, I've had four cracked or shattered windshields during my career. The first was in a King Air 200 during climb out (we returned to the departure airport and swapped to another King Air 200), the next two were in 727s, both in cruise and both apparently due to faulty temperature controllers and the most recent in a 737, just prior to the top of descent and again due to a faulty temperature controller. In all four occasions, there was no loss of cabin pressurization and normal landings were completed.
The biggest negative aspect of each was the loud "pop" noise that each made when it cracked. Loud is an understatement, in my recollection.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
FighterPilot
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Wed May 16, 2007 2:13 pm

Great video, the pilot looking out the 777 window reminds me of Jim Carrey in Ace Venture! Big grin

Cal  airplane 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Wed May 16, 2007 2:16 pm

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 17):
The biggest negative aspect of each was the loud "pop" noise that each made when it cracked. Loud is an understatement, in my recollection.

Brown trouser moment then. Big grin
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
FlyHoss
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sat May 19, 2007 12:37 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 19):
Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 17):
The biggest negative aspect of each was the loud "pop" noise that each made when it cracked. Loud is an understatement, in my recollection.

Brown trouser moment then.

No, it was more of the opposite problem (removing the seat cushion due to the "pucker" factor).

For the most recent incident, the windshield began arcing internally. Per the checklist, the heat was turned off. I then warned the FO that the windshield would shatter in less than two minutes (as I cinched up my seatbelt). It cracked about 45 seconds later, but fortunately, it was only the outer pane. The checklist called for a descent to FL260 only if the inner pane had cracked (IIRC), but as we were near the "top of descent" anyway (about 80 miles to the TOD), we started our descent early.

Our 50 minute "turn" became a 27 hour layover. It took nearly 24 hours for the new windshield to arrive.

I had snapped a few photos of the damage, but I can't find that memory card right now.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Sun May 20, 2007 12:08 am

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 20):
For the most recent incident, the windshield began arcing internally. Per the checklist, the heat was turned off. I then warned the FO that the windshield would shatter in less than two minutes (as I cinched up my seatbelt). It cracked about 45 seconds later, but fortunately, it was only the outer pane.

Didn't shutting off the WHCU stop the heating.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
A320ajm
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:46 am

One of my friends was on a BMI fligh, where hailstones cracked thr cockpit windscreen. I bet that this problem is more common than people think.
If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:58 am

Quoting A320ajm (Reply 22):
One of my friends was on a BMI fligh, where hailstones cracked thr cockpit windscreen. I bet that this problem is more common than people think.

That and birds. Normally the birds and the hailstones lose, but they don't go down without a fight.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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IFixPlanes
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:52 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Didn't shutting off the WHCU stop the heating.

Correct but also the main problem of the above mentioned situation is under control: "arcing"
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HAWK21M
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RE: Cracked Cockpit Window During Flight?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:25 pm

Quoting A320ajm (Reply 22):
One of my friends was on a BMI fligh, where hailstones cracked thr cockpit windscreen. I bet that this problem is more common than people think

What happened to the rest of the fuselage in such conditions.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

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