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. bama

    That could of been a very serious situation.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Autumnsmama

      could HAVE, NOT could OF....(i.e. could've)

      November 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Havok

      Thank you autumnsmama! This board must have set a record for improper uses of "of" and "have".

      November 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Aside from the grammar ... cracked windshields are not uncommon. They won't let a plane take off with a crack, but they do crack in tha air now and then and it's not a serious situation. They land, it gets fixed. End of story.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MyJunk

    CNN's Kiran Chetry is a hottie... I know, off topic

    November 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chetry is fat

      Yep, fat, watch the profile shots when she's standing.

      November 19, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MIKE

    How did a passenger get into the cokpit to take a picture?

    November 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      After the flight landed. That was pretty clearly stated. Personally I'm glad they open the door then because I welcome the chance to thank my pilot.

      November 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tbone

    I love stupid people

    November 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sunless

    see better that http://www.SUPERSONIC.US.COM !!!

    November 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Orwellio Spears

    Clearly, Facebook caused the windshield to crack.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • TS

      George W. Bush caused the crack didn't he. Libs can blame him for anything.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bea

    Another plane must have thrown a rock.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. D B

    It was a 737.

    There is onboard wi-fi and many planes now that allow you to connect to the internet in flight. Electronic devices can be used above 10,000 ft.

    The picture was taken after the flight landed. The Pilot let passenger see what caused their flight to be deverted.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Syd

    Airplane windshields are made up of several layers of glass and a clear film in between each. One or more layers can be cracked without the winshield loosing it integrity. Anything from a short in the windshield heating system to being overtorqued during installation can cause it to crack. I flew and worked on several U.S Air Force jets that had cracked windshield. At no time were the flight crews and I in any danger.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heavy Mech

      Absolutely Sid, I was with USAF aircraft maint for 30 years. Windshield cracks are not uncommon, and shorted or malfunctioning heating elements are usually the cause. I guess most passenger carriers have a "better safe than sorry" policy and have to divert to the nearest airport when this occurs.

      November 19, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CBR

    Are you kidding? This happened to me around 6 months ago on a flight back from Turkey. You do not see me reaching out to CNN for 5 minutes of fame like this guy....

    November 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tia

      He didn't reach out to CNN, he posted it on're just jealous because you have no friends to care about your status updates.

      November 20, 2010 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brian

    Kudos to the pilots for handling the situation with professionalism. Honestly though, the odds of that window blowing were slim and even if it had, I have confidence they would have dealt with it and still safely landed the flight. As the passenger stated, when dealing with man-made materials, things occasionally go wrong. I'm 100% sure the pilots had their masks on the moment they noticed the crack and worst case scenario the cabin could have used the supplemental oxygen as well until they were below 10k. Flying nowadays may be a pain due to the security measures, but it's still the safest way to go.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • SwordofPerseus

      Not to heckle you but most people forget walking is a form of transportation, not without risks I might add, but for about a million years we have been walking the planet and mile for mile I bet over-all walking is far safer.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jh

    tmi – i legally (i guess) must be told of an emergency landing – but not why- id rather be apprehensive calm than freaking the visual of repercussions of a structural stress on a windshield at 666 (haha) mph's.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. danno

    There's something wrong with the Airplane...
    Really what is it?
    It's a big thing with wheels on it but never-mind that now.....

    November 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • SwordofPerseus

      To Danno;

      A: "There's something wrong with the airplane!"
      B: "What is it?"
      A: "It's a big long metal tube, with wings and jet engines, but that's not important right now!" LOL

      November 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dalriadian

    Had this happen years ago on a red-eye out of LAX. The captain depressurized the DC-7 immediately, and then banked sharply to start the return to Los Angeles. I remember being up all night before they found another aircraft. Gets your attention!

    November 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaleida SuperPivot

      Let me guess...replacement was a Super Connie? LOL You're dating yourself. Do you feel incestuous?

      November 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PC

    This happened to me on a flight from Minneapolis to Boston in 2005. We had to make an emergency landing in Cleveland. We were flying at 33,000 feet then came down to 3,000 feet until we could land. Quite freaky actually. A woman who was sitting across the isle spoke to her brother who is a pilot. He indicated that at no time was there any danger and that we could have flown to Boston, however, the protocol is that you must land.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
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