The UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has released a special bulletin stating that damage to a Titan Airways A321neo’s windows was caused by heat generated by high powered film lamps used in a previous project. The lamps led to deformation and melting of the window pane and seal. The incident occurred during a flight from London to Orlando with only crew onboard, and the damage was only noticed after takeoff. The aircraft returned to Stansted Airport and a post-flight inspection revealed damage to multiple windows and the horizontal stabilizer. The investigation is ongoing to determine the exact cause and prevent future incidents.
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In a recently released special bulletin, the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has determined that the damage to the windows of a Titan Airways A321neo was caused by the heat generated by high-powered film lamps used during a project the day before the incident flight. The intense heat led to deformation of the window pane and melting of the window seal.
This incident occurred during a flight from London to Orlando, with only the crew on board. Shortly after reaching an altitude of 10,000 feet, the loadmaster onboard noticed a significant increase in cabin noise. Upon investigation, it was discovered that a window pane aft of the over wing exit had become dislodged, causing the noise.
The pilots were informed, and the aircraft ceased climbing at 14,500 feet. The crew then made the decision to return to Stansted Airport. Throughout the flight, the cabin remained properly pressurized. After landing safely, a post-flight inspection revealed damage to three windows on the left side of the aircraft. Only one of the damaged windows was visible during the flight, but two panes were missing and a third was damaged. Additionally, a fourth window pane was protruding from the surface of the fuselage. Melted foam liners were also found on the affected windows, and damage to the left leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer was noted.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing, with the AAIB and French BEA working together to determine the exact sequence of events that led to the window damage. Their goal is to find ways to safely mitigate the risks associated with high-powered film lighting in the future.
Interesting Fun Fact: This is not the first time that a window has been melted by high-powered film lighting. The use of intense lamps for film and photography projects can generate significant heat, which can pose a risk to the structural integrity of aircraft windows. It is important for filmmakers and photographers to take precautions and ensure that their equipment does not cause damage during flights.
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