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Boeing 737 Makes Emergency Diversion After Outer Passenger Window Cracks as Plane Climbs to 32,000 Feet

Boeing 737 Makes Emergency Diversion After Outer Passenger Window Cracks as Plane Climbs to 32,000 Feet

a plane flying in the sky

A Boeing 737-800 operated by Algerian flag carrier Air Algerie was forced to make an emergency diversion on Wednesday after a passenger window cracked and partially blew out as the aircraft climbed to cruising altitude shortly after takeoff.

Flight AH1084 from Oran in northwestern Algeria to Paris Charles de Gaulle was being operated by a 24-year-old Boeing 737-800 NG, which was delivered new to Air Algerie in 2000.

According to a report in the Aviation Herald, after learning that the outer pane of a passenger window had cracked, the pilots decided to return to Oran as the aircraft was flying over the Mediterranean Sea at around 32,000 feet.

Passenger windows on Boeing 737 jets are made up of three panes of glass-like material. The outermost pain is made of acrylic and is designed to “bear the brunt of the air pressure and extreme temperatures experienced during flight.”

The middle pain provides additional protection, and the third lightweight ‘scratch pane’ is simply designed to protect the middle layer from being touched or scratched by passengers.

Although it’s not an everyday occurrence, cracked passenger windows aren’t unheard of, and there could be a variety of reasons why the window might fail in flight.

Flight 1084 was back on the ground in Oran just 50 minutes after takeoff, and passengers were eventually flown to Paris on a replacement aircraft. The damaged airplane was quickly fixed and returned to service the following morning.

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