Southwest Boeing 737 makes unplanned landing with broken window

Another Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines was forced to make an unexpected emergency landing on May 2 when one of its windows was damaged mid-flight— just two weeks after a woman died after being partially sucked through a window that shattered after an engine blew apart on another Southwest jet. The plane, en route to Newark from Chicago, landed in Cleveland with no injuries reported.

Southwest said the unscheduled stop came from a reported crack to the outer pane of the multi-pane window. The airline said the plane landed in Cleveland for a maintenance review of a layer in one of the plane’s window pane. They also said the flight maintained pressurization in the cabin because each window comes with multiple panes.

Southwest in a statement announced that flight 957, with 76 passengers on-board, “landed uneventfully in Cleveland.” Flight passengers reported that a window on the plane had cracked.

There was no depressurization in the cabin, and therefore the oxygen masks were not deployed, FAA spokesman Greg Martin said. He said the pilot did not declare an emergency but did ask to divert to a nearby airport. FAA will be investigating what caused the window to crack as it hasn’t been known yet.

While the two events sound similar at face value—both involved window damage mid-air followed by an unexpected landing—it is still unknown what caused the incident. After the April 17 incident, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered mandatory inspections of certain variants of the CFM56-7B engines, including its fan blades. The airline had previously opposed a recommendation by the engine’s manufacturer to inspect the blades on their planes after metal fatigue was found to be the reason behind the engine failure and emergency landing of a Southwest plane in 2016.

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