A plane that was supposed to fly from London to Orlando, America, was grounded again after just 36 minutes. At an altitude of 4.2 kilometers it was found that some windows were missing or damaged.
The Airbus A321 had taken off from London’s Stansted Airport on October 4 with only eleven crew members and nine passengers on board. They were supposed to fly to Orlando, America, but soon during the flight the few passengers started complaining about the cold and more noise than is usually heard on board.
When a crew member went to look at the back of the plane, he determined that the noise was indeed “loud enough to damage your hearing”, according to the investigation into the incident, which was reported in American media. The problem was caused by two windows that were missing and a third window that was damaged. This appears to be the result of filming the night before, which used very large lights that were placed too close to the windows, causing thermal damage. The checks before departure were then insufficient.
The plane was now at an altitude of 4.2 kilometers. There was no other option than to return to the place of departure to solve the problems. After 36 minutes the plane was back on the ground at Stansted Airport. “The consequences could have been much greater and more serious,” the British aviation authority report said. “Because with higher pressure, the damaged windows might also have collapsed.”