A Delta jet, originally thought to be from Dallas, was forced down after its windshield shattered in midflight. A Boeing 767-300 aircraft, owned by Delta Air Lines, splintered and cracked on a flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles on Saturday, May 3. The cockpit’s right windshield spidered and splintered, but never gave way, says CNN on May 6.
The jet was flying at 38,000 feet when the pilot told passengers over the intercom that they would be making an emergency landing in Albuquerque. Most passengers, including Jennifer Squires, thought that someone on board had fallen sick.
"I immediately thought someone was ill," she wrote. "A few minutes later he (the pilot) told us that because of pressure, the windshield in the cockpit arched, bubbled, and then shattered." The windshield on aircraft are double thick, so although the exterior pane cracked, the interior one remained intact and did not put the pilots or passengers in any danger.
Clarified a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman: “Our initial information was that the outside part of the windshield shattered but the interior part remained intact," wrote FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford, via email. "All windows and windshields are at least double paned," added Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant. "This is a rare occurrence but the established procedure is to divert."
According to CNN, there was no loss of cabin pressure, and the airplane diverted and was able to land in about 15 minutes. The aircraft had taken off at 8:58 a.m. Eastern Time and landed in Albuquerque at 9:49 a.m. local time (11: 49 a.m. Eastern Time), according to FlightAware.com.
"As I exited the plane, I asked if I could see the damage," wrote Squires, who took her picture at that time, shared with CNN and posted above. "The pilot and co-pilot were in the cockpit, and I thanked them for getting us down safely."
Squires credits the crew's skill and demeanor. "They were very calm. The whole crew was in fact very professional and quite calm. I really didn't fear for my life, and I don't think anyone else was overly reactive or worried."