Plane makes U-turn after taking off in London with missing windows

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Passengers onboard an Airbus A321LR that departed a London airport in October were in for a noisier and colder flight than usual when two of the plane’s windows were found to be missing after takeoff.

Titan Airways Flight AWC305Y had taken off from London’s Stansted Airport on Oct 4 and was headed to Orlando International Airport in the US state of Florida, according to a report from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

The charter flight was carrying 11 crew members and nine passengers, including employees of the airline.

After takeoff, the flight crew had noticed excessive noise coming from the left side of the cabin’s rear.

The report states that “several passengers recalled that after takeoff, the aircraft cabin seemed noisier and colder than they were used to”.

A crew member then walked to the area for a closer inspection and noticed that one of the seals around the window pane had become dislodged, with a noise that was described as being loud enough to damage your hearing.

The plane was in the process of its take-off climb and had reached an altitude of 14,000 feet before it was levelled out to stop its ascent and its airspeed reduced so that one of the pilots could inspect the windows.

After assessing the damage, the decision was made for the plane to make a U-turn and land back at Stansted after being in the air for 36 minutes.

Upon further inspection of the aircraft’s exterior after landing, two window panes were found to be missing with a third dislodged.

According to the report, “there were no abnormal indications on the flight deck and the aircraft pressurisation system was operating normally…the cabin had remained pressurised normally throughout the flight”. 

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