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View Full Version : Airbus cockpit window departs.


trip
05-14-2018, 07:16 AM
Chinese airliner makes emergency landing after cockpit window falls out nearly sucking co-pilot out of cabin | South China Morning Post (http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2146003/chinese-airliner-makes-emergency-landing-after-cockpit-window)

F/O partially blown out, cockpit damaged.

interview with Capt on PPrune.

https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/608822-a319-fo-windshield-blowout.html

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2146003/chinese-airliner-makes-emergency-landing-after-cockpit-window


rickair7777
05-14-2018, 08:05 AM
Wow. Didn't know that still happened. I'd be curious to learn if it was a design/mfg flaw or some MX issue.

trip
05-14-2018, 09:22 AM
Yes it shouldn't take long to find out what cause the failure. I read up on the British Airways similar incident in 1990, that was caused by bolts of the wrong size diameter (undersized). The installing mech claimed that he installed they same size bolts that he took out, which turned to be true, although they were not the proper size called for by manufacturer.

This China incident was followed by visual flight over high terrain with sub freezing temps and no NAV/auto.

Awesome job of flying it back safely by the Capt. & crew.


UAL T38 Phlyer
05-14-2018, 11:26 AM
Wow. Didn't know that still happened. I'd be curious to learn if it was a design/mfg flaw or some MX issue.

I'd guess mx. No Bus has ever had an unexplained windscreen blowout before.

The bent MCP was pretty impressive. :eek:

sailingfun
05-17-2018, 02:43 PM
Airline claims no maintenance was done on the window since delivered from Airbus in 2011.

UAL T38 Phlyer
05-17-2018, 03:43 PM
Airline claims no maintenance was done on the window since delivered from Airbus in 2011.

Wow...that is surprising (and more than a little scary).

Adlerdriver
05-17-2018, 03:51 PM
Wow...that is surprising (and more than a little scary). Maybe we're dealing with various definitions of "maintenance". Perhaps inspections, cleaning, etc. aren't viewed as "maintenance" by this airline and they're referring more to non-routine repairs. How much upkeep does a forward, fixed window really need unless something goes wrong with it?

UAL T38 Phlyer
05-17-2018, 04:07 PM
Yeah, that’s my point...unless mis-installed by mx...what else can cause a blowout like that?

Adlerdriver
05-17-2018, 04:27 PM
I thought you were expressing concern that a forward window could go 7-ish years without "maintenance".

Perhaps mis-installed during initial construction at Airbus?

rickair7777
05-17-2018, 08:38 PM
I thought you were expressing concern that a forward window could go 7-ish years without "maintenance".

Perhaps mis-installed during initial construction at Airbus?


How the hell do you mis-install a window? You either use the right bolts or you don't. Even if you didn't torque them right the failure mode would be slow leak not blowout.

Adlerdriver
05-17-2018, 10:17 PM
What a strange post.

How the hell do you mis-install a window? Dunno. But if it can be done wrong, I'll bet there's a human out there capable of doing it that way.

You either use the right bolts or you don't. Okay..... so maybe they didn't use the right bolts. :rolleyes:

Even if you didn't torque them right the failure mode would be slow leak not blowout. Sounds like you've got it all figured out.

I don't pretend to have a clue what caused this. I was simply commenting on Phyler's information that the airline said there had been no "maintenance" on the window since they got the aircraft in 2011.


If that's really correct and nothing substantial has ever been done to that window since they took delivery, then one reasonable theory is that something wasn't done properly during the initial assembly. That's all I was saying.

I think there are plenty of other possibilities that don't involve only the "right bolts" or the wrong ones. Perhaps the window wasn't manufactured correctly and just failed. Maybe the support structure (i.e. frame) and not the window itself was the problem.

One of the F-15s in my squadron broke in two just aft of the cockpit because the structural members in the fuselage weren't milled to the correct thickness about 30 years earlier during production. Just a ticking time-bomb waiting go off when enough stress had been applied over the years and it eventually failed. After inspections, there were more than a dozen like that found with the same flaws.

My point is that anything is possible and right now, I don't subscribe to the rather narrow view you have of this. Not that my opinion means much. We'll see when the experts have a chance to investigate.

rickair7777
05-18-2018, 09:47 AM
What a strange post.

Dunno. But if it can be done wrong, I'll bet there's a human out there capable of doing it that way.

Okay..... so maybe they didn't use the right bolts. :rolleyes:

Sounds like you've got it all figured out.

I don't pretend to have a clue what caused this. I was simply commenting on Phyler's information that the airline said there had been no "maintenance" on the window since they got the aircraft in 2011.


If that's really correct and nothing substantial has ever been done to that window since they took delivery, then one reasonable theory is that something wasn't done properly during the initial assembly. That's all I was saying.

I think there are plenty of other possibilities that don't involve only the "right bolts" or the wrong ones. Perhaps the window wasn't manufactured correctly and just failed. Maybe the support structure (i.e. frame) and not the window itself was the problem.

One of the F-15s in my squadron broke in two just aft of the cockpit because the structural members in the fuselage weren't milled to the correct thickness about 30 years earlier during production. Just a ticking time-bomb waiting go off when enough stress had been applied over the years and it eventually failed. After inspections, there were more than a dozen like that found with the same flaws.

My point is that anything is possible and right now, I don't subscribe to the rather narrow view you have of this. Not that my opinion means much. We'll see when the experts have a chance to investigate.


Wasn't debating your POV, just expressing surprise that this could happen. It either failed or fell off. Simple structural parts shouldn't just fall off, and this one has many redundant layers to hold it together if one layer fails.


The one previous incident of this nature that I'm aware of was due to use of the wrong bolts. But that when the window was recently replaced.

UAL T38 Phlyer
05-18-2018, 12:06 PM
I saw a video this morning (lost the link). Initial inquiry hearing. Capt testified, as did the airline. Had subtitles.

The airline rep stated the windshield was factory-original and had never been removed.

Capt talked about his reactions, attempts to grab the FO (couldn’t; only the seatbelt saved him). More pics of the plane.

Even had pics of the FO in the hospital!! One minor cut on his right cheek; said he had a lower back injury...but did not seem to be paralyzed. I was amazed, considering the abuse he went through.

It happened around 32,000. Holy crap.

We had an article not too long ago at United (in house) that discussed windshield cracks, and why not to freak out. The pane is about 1.00-1.25 inch thick, in total.

As I recall, the sandwich is:

1. Thin glass layers inside and out, maybe 0.10 inch thick, for scratch-resistance.

2. Two thick plexiglas (plastic) layers, constituting 80% of the thickness of the window, for strength.

3. A middle layer of glass similar to crystal (lead or other metal oxides in the melt) to give it electrical conductivity (but at high resistance) to generate window heat.

So, a five-layer sandwich. Point of the article was the thin outer layers were prone to cracking and crazing, while minor delaminations in the heated interior were more likely to just give you an area where it was not as clear to see through.

Only things mechanical I can think of:

1. Window-heat controller has been faulty for many months and has delaminated whole layers due to overheat, until normal pressurization forces ruptured it.

2. Cornell University says between 18,000 and 84,000 meteorites hit the earth’s surface (greater than 10 grams) each day.. What if a “golden bb” hit the window?

trip
05-18-2018, 12:41 PM
Hadn’t thought of the Golden “BB” ha ha. I thought I read that this one did crack initially and moments later after the F/O felt it and realized it had cracked through to the inside it then departed the scene.

rickair7777
05-18-2018, 02:05 PM
2. Cornell University says between 18,000 and 84,000 meteorites hit the earth’s surface (greater than 10 grams) each day.. What if a “golden bb” hit the window?


That would be one possible explanation. And there's more meteors in the flight levels than at sea level.

UAL T38 Phlyer
05-20-2018, 07:32 PM
Found a link to the video:

https://www.facebook.com/clear2land.net/videos/878639665655144/?hc_ref=ARREgisbpijL6uwILT7UrsAEq2HvO40YySDBtPrHoY L1DO5byP4K9i11QOHx23mY9Xg&fref=nf



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