JBAirwaysFan
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Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:26 pm

Hello all:

Last week a made the usual trek down to Daytona Beach using none other than Delta for my travels. On my way home, DL 420 from ATL-LGA, I sat by the window and noticed the interior plastic cover on the airplane window was "cut short." Basically I was able to stick my fingers through the plastic and physically touch the glass exterior window of the airplane. As neurotic of a flier as I am now, having been in one airplane disaster, I questioned whether or not this was safe. I was hesitant to tell anyone because I either A) Didn't want to look stupid or B) Cause any disturbance on board.

So my question to everyone here: Is it safe? I will try to post an image if anyone needs clarification.
In Loving Memory of Casey Edward Falconer; May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012
 
MesaFlyGuy
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:31 pm

I think that it something large enough that a crewmember or cleaning-crew-member would notice if it were a problem.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Thread starter):
A) Didn't want to look stupid

Hey, it's always better to look stupid than notice a problem and not report it.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Thread starter):
So my question to everyone here: Is it safe? I will try to post an image if anyone needs clarification.

A picture would make it easier to visualize the issue to which you are referring to, but you don't have to go out of your way to post it.
The views I express are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of my company.
 
JBAirwaysFan
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:22 pm



Here you go
In Loving Memory of Casey Edward Falconer; May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:24 am

Holy massive image resolution batman! 

I think the only risk here is that you cut yourself on the plastic.

If memory serves there are two glass panes, but I could be wrong. The purpose of the plastic is to protect the glass from scratches and your body from the cold glass. Unless you hit the glass with one of those evacuation hammer thingies they carry on buses and trains, you're good. Actually I don't know if even one of those hammers would do it.

In the exceedingly unlikely event that the glass does shatter, the plastic won't be any help. It has no pressurization function. You'd feel an almighty breeze but the aircraft would stay pressurized. The outflow valves would slam shut but airliners can keep pressure with bigger holes than that. Obviously having your seatbelt on is a good idea. However as I said the plastic makes no difference.

Quoting mesaflyguy (Reply 1):
Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Thread starter):
A) Didn't want to look stupid

Hey, it's always better to look stupid than notice a problem and not report it.

Absolutely. At the very least it should be written up for maintenance.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
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jetmech
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:07 am

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Thread starter):
Basically I was able to stick my fingers through the plastic and physically touch the glass exterior window of the airplane
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
If memory serves there are two glass panes, but I could be wrong.

There are two acrylic structural panes in each window frame. I'm almost certain the plastic item you could stick your fingers through was the non-structural inner pane. This pane is also known as the scratch pane, and is primarily there to prevent one from touching the middle pane. The pane you could touch was most probably the middle pane

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l118/Jet-Mech/window_zpse5ee73e4.jpg

The outer and middle panes can both withstand the full pressurisation loads. The middle pane often has a small vent hole near the bottom edge. Under normal operations, this hole applies the pressurisation loads to the outer pane only. If the outer pane were to shatter, the middle pane would then contain the cabin pressure.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Thread starter):
So my question to everyone here: Is it safe?

Like a lot of cosmetic things, it doesn't look good to be able to stick your finger under the scratch pane; however you were in no danger at all.

Regards, JetMech
JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair :shock: .
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:38 am

Quoting jetmech (Reply 4):
If the outer pane were to shatter, the middle pane would then contain the cabin pressure.

Given the vent hole, there would be outflow through the hole right? Granted, not very significant.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
yeelep
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:23 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
In the exceedingly unlikely event that the glass does shatter, the plastic won't be any help. It has no pressurization function. You'd feel an almighty breeze but the aircraft would stay pressurized. The outflow valves would slam shut but airliners can keep pressure with bigger holes than that.

At cruise the outflow valve is already pretty close to closed. If a window was lost on a plane the size of a 737 it would be like going from a fully closed to a almost fully open outflow valve, it will not be able to maintain pressurization.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 5):
Given the vent hole, there would be outflow through the hole right? Granted, not very significant.

On a 737 the vent hole is .062" dia. Insignificant would be a understatement.
 
JBAirwaysFan
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:04 pm

Thanks for clarifying. Like I said, I've been in an aviation catastrophe before so I'm extra paranoid about it.
In Loving Memory of Casey Edward Falconer; May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012
 
T prop
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:39 am

Quoting yeelep (Reply 6):

At cruise the outflow valve is already pretty close to closed. If a window was lost on a plane the size of a 737 it would be like going from a fully closed to a almost fully open outflow valve, it will not be able to maintain pressurization.

  


Once when working on scrapping an aircraft, I wondered just how tough these cabin windows are.... Found the crash axe and had a go..... All I can say is you have nothing to worry about.
 
bueb0g
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
You'd feel an almighty breeze but the aircraft would stay pressurized.

No, if a whole window blows out at cruise altitudes, the cabin will de-pressurise (very rapidly), and if not securely fastened in, anyone sitting next to the window will be sucked through it (as has happened in the past).
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:24 pm

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 2):
Once when working on scrapping an aircraft, I wondered just how tough these cabin windows are.... Found the crash axe and had a go..... All I can say is you have nothing to worry about.

 
Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 2):
Here you go

Looks like the inner decorative pane....the mid and outer panes take the load on most types.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Fabo
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:19 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 9):
(as has happened in the past).

Has it?
The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:51 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 9):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
You'd feel an almighty breeze but the aircraft would stay pressurized.

No, if a whole window blows out at cruise altitudes, the cabin will de-pressurise (very rapidly), and if not securely fastened in, anyone sitting next to the window will be sucked through it (as has happened in the past).

Can you provide an example of someone being sucked out through a cabin window? I've heard of outsucking through the windshield or a large hole in the fuselage, but never heard of a cabin window accident.

I seem to recall a.netters saying that the cabin will hold pressurization even with one window gone. I could be having a memory lapse.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
Viscount724
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:26 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
Can you provide an example of someone being sucked out through a cabin window? I've heard of outsucking through the windshield or a large hole in the fuselage, but never heard of a cabin window accident.

National Airlines DC-10 near ABQ in 1973, on the IAH-LAS sector of a flight operating MIA-MSY-IAH-LAS-SFO.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19731103-0

Complete NTSB report. The passenger's body was never found.
http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR75-02.pdf

Excerpt:

Survival Aspects

The missing passenger was forced through the cabin window near seat location 17H. The window opening was 16 1/8 by 10 5/8 in. with curved corners of 4 1/2 in. radius. According to a witness, the occupant of the seat was partially forced through the window opening and was temporarily retained in this position by his seatbelt. Efforts to pull the passenger back into the airplane by another passenger were unsuccessful, and the occupant of seat 17H was subsequently forced entirely through the cabin window.

The New Mexico State Police and local organizations searched extensively for the missing passenger. A computer analysis was made of the possible falling trajectories which narrowed the search pattern. However, the search effort was unsuccessful, and the body of the passenger was not recovered.


It was this aircraft, National's first DC-10.


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.

 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:08 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
National Airlines DC-10 near ABQ in 1973, on the IAH-LAS sector of a flight operating MIA-MSY-IAH-LAS-SFO.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19731103-0

Complete NTSB report. The passenger's body was never found.
http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/n...2.pdf

Wow. Yech...
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
bluejuice
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:16 am

Many Soviet-era planes do not have the plastic inner pane and the pax can touch the middle pane glass all they want.
 
bueb0g
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:18 pm

Quoting Fabo (Reply 11):
Has it?

Yes, see Viscount's post above (the National DC-10 was indeed the previous incident I alluded to)
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
Fabo
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 16):
Yes, see Viscount's post above (the National DC-10 was indeed the previous incident I alluded to)

Yes, thanks, I've noticed. Crazy.
The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
 
soon7x7
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RE: Question About Aircraft Windows And Safety

Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:53 pm

If you were able to touch the inner side of the outer lens then that is the good news...the alternative would have been unacceptable...and actually you would not have had to post the question as all your fears would have come true. Kind of scary when you understand the only item protecting you is a piece of stretched clear acrylic plastic that in many cases doesn't really get the care it should.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
Holy massive image resolution batman!

  ...that's funny!

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