Southwest Pilots Divert 737-700 After Window Cracks Inflight

Jeannie Matthews
May 3, 2018

'The flight landed uneventfully in Cleveland.

A passenger on the flight sent a photo of the window to her son, Twitter user Ryan Holly, who was one of the first to publicly bring attention to the broken window. The interior window was still intact.

A window on Southwest Airlines flight 957 from Chicago to New Jersey today cracked while airborne, causing the plane to make a diverted landing in Cleveland.

Flight 957 had taken off from Midway Airport in Chicago around 8:30 a.m. Passenger Cara O'Grady says that the window cracked not long after the flight took off.

There was no depressurization in the cabin, and therefore the oxygen masks were not deployed, FAA spokesman Greg Martin said.

The plane was cleared to land in Philadelphia, where emergency crews waited.

Representatives of the airline noted that as a result of damage to the glass in the window of depressurization was not. Airplane windows are rather durable and are made up of multiple layers.

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Once landing in Cleveland, the 76 passengers on board were told to take their belongings and get off the plane and board another plane waiting for them.

According to Flight Aware, the Boeing 737-700 was traveling 514 miles per hour at 26,000 feet when the crack was discovered.

Paul Upshaw of Chicago said he immediately thought back to the accident two weeks ago when an engine blew apart on a Southwest flight and pierced a window, killing a woman. "All of a sudden, we heard an explosion and I come to find out that the engine exploded on the left side of the plane".

The engine failure also prompted regulatory authorities to order inspections of certain CFM56-7B engines used on Boeing 737s.

Anthony Roman, a commercial pilot and flight instructor based in NY, says problems with windows should be detected during regular inspections and maintenance.

The timing of the incident could hardly be worse for Dallas-based Southwest, the nation's fourth-biggest airline.

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