November 19th, 2010
09:19 AM ET

Passenger on windshield crack: How can it happen?

On a Delta flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Orange County, California the captain came on the loud-speaker saying there was a problem in the cockpit – the cockpit windshield had cracked - and they needed to make an emergency landing in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Passenger Mike Fleming was on the flight, updating his Facebook status while it was happening and took a photo of the damaged windshield. Fleming  spoke to American Morning’s Kiran Chetry about the sudden emergency situation at 34,000 feet mid-air.

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soundoff (411 Responses)
  1. harry

    This is news....?
    CNN you have got nothing better to report, like people of dying of hunger, wars etc etc
    Let me see what Fox is reporting?

    November 19, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      please direct your attention to the 'about this blog' section in the upper right of this webpage. thank you for being dense. have a nice day.

      November 19, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Setts

      Harry, I'll tell you what FOX will be reporting... Obama praises Sitting Bull who killed US general, Obama is a Kenyan, or whatever will continue to rile the non-right-wing-extremist.

      November 19, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • YoEric

      Fox news: "Excessive government regulation causes airliner's windshield to fail – millions of lives endangered"

      ;^)

      November 19, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Maggie Lee

      Harry if this had been disaster would you have the same flippant, moronic response. I say GO, RUN, Hurry to your Fox and please do us all a favor and don't come back. We won't miss you.

      November 19, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Stupid is as Stupid does

      Yeah, I'm tired of people who are unable to read the word B-L-O-G and differentiate it from the N-E-W-S section.

      November 19, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. DrPete

    This guy will probably get paid more for this picture than I'll get paid this year. Awesome.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. SteveR

    ANGRY BIRDS Airline edition coming to IPhone!!!

    November 19, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ryan

    "CNN Heroes" might be a bit underserved for a guy updating facebook on an airplane.
    There are more real heroes in dirty, dangerous parts of the world CNN doesn't want to go to.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Not Uncommon

    This is fairly uncommon thing in the aircraft maintenance world. Aircraft windows are typcially made of two pieces of glass with a lexan liner sandwiched between the two of them and are roughly 2 inches think give or take. They have heating devices in them that prevent them from icing during flight which can cause the inner or outer pane to shatter in flight. Unless a Foreign Object were to penetrate through the entire window, which is rare but does happen especially in bird strike cases, an emergency landing is typically a precautionary measure because of the aircraft's pressurization.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • bud

      birds flying at 33,000 feet? Wow!!

      November 19, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. whoopingcough

    All Bushes fault!

    November 19, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike in St. Louis

    The windshield was probably made by a lazy, overpaid union member who is only on the job for the outrageous wages and benefits and and can't be fired because of a strike threat. If the windshield had been made by a non-union employee who understands that if they screw up that they can be fired and maybe prosecuted, the window would have been made to very high quality standards.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • guitarzan81

      You must either own a business or enjoy being screwed over by your employer.

      November 19, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. James33

    The pilot did nothing to deserve a hand shaking (I know he landed the plane–but that's his job so shh). If anything, he should be punched in the face for not immediately doing something about such as finding some duct tape, and putting on goggles instead of just sitting there like a potted plant watching it grow bigger. The guy posting away Facebook during all of this should also be punched just for using Facebook, and then kicked while he was down for taking a picture with what was probably an iphone.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Nestor

    It is a common problem. In Alabama we use duct tape. It works wonders.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Petes

      Nestor, how do you get your mobile home up at 33,000 ft?

      November 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. exairlineguy

    Cracked windshields are relatively common on CRJs...Since they didn't indicate what type in the written article it's hard to tell.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. PARROT

    I BET THE WINDSHIELD WAS IMPORTED FROM CHINA !!

    November 19, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Gregg

      That was my first thought ! Chinese made !

      November 19, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Stupid is as Stupid does

      Sorry to say but a lot of the manufactured goods, including car parts, are imported from places like China. The assembly is where most of the big problems happen. US workers a are LOT lazier.

      November 19, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Petes

      Thats a nice blanket statement stupid. Typically you'll find recalls are due to defects, not assembly.

      November 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gus

    No big deal, it didn't collapse so that's all that matters.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tom

    To those of you suggesting the pilot should have just put some duct tape, trust me this doesn't work. I had a crack on my windshield and put some duct tape over it, and it still got bigger.. I put some more on, but it continued to get bigger. Eventually I hit a tree because I couldn't see out my windshield because of all the ducttape, and my whole car was totaled. So, no, that doesnt work too well.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Its called get your windshield replaced after you get the money to replace it, Why would you let a windshield get to that condition? Duct tape fixes everything, except stupidity.

      November 19, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Petes

      ha, thats the stupidest thing I've ever read. What you should've done is just welded in a piece of sheet metal where the windshield goes! Then you wouldn't have to worry about cracks!

      November 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. doug

    I heard of the latest Al-Qaida attack...they are going to have 5 Terrorist board a plane with cell phones and then keep them on during take off and landing.

    This is dangerous and no one should fly until we can find out who these people are and take away their cell phones – or at least put them into Air-Plane mode.

    Look for suspious people.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dewey

    Come on people dont ya think this facebook thing is WAY!!! out of hand?Really???

    November 19, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
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