Delta Flight Diverted After Windshield Mysteriously Shatters Mid-Air
Aircraft to Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. Fiumicino (Italy), February 10th, 2022
Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

A Delta Airlines flight carrying 198 passengers had to land in Denver on Thursday after its windshield shattered when the jet was over 30,000 feet in the air. 

The flight departed Salt Lake City and was destined for Washington, D.C., when the windshield mysteriously shattered and the pilots decided to land the aircraft. Although it was cracked from top to bottom, the glass stayed intact, and the pilots were able to safely land the aircraft in Denver. No passengers or crew were harmed. 

“They came on the loudspeaker saying that the windshield had shattered, and we were diverting to Denver in about 10 minutes. I was sure I had misheard them but I hadn’t,” passenger Rachel Wright told KUTV. She claimed that the crew announced the diverted landing an hour and a half after takeoff. “They kept coming on saying for everyone to stay calm, to be calm, and we were calm so being told to stay calm while we were calm made us feel a little panicky,” Wright explained.

Another passenger took a photo of the shattered glass after landing and posted it to Twitter. “We were on our way to the ACC [American College of Cardiology] meeting when it was announced that we we (sic) would need to make an unplanned landing in Denver because the windscreen cracked,” Kirk Knowlton tweeted. “Apparently it was spontaneous. Fortunately, we landed safely and are about to get back in air. We are grateful for safe flights.”

A Delta spokesperson confirmed the aircraft’s windshield cracked but was unable to confirm what caused it to shatter mid-air, according to the Associated Press. Contact with birds is doubtful as most birds don’t fly above 10,000 feet. KUTV reported that “Several experienced commercial airline pilots” told them “windshields can be two inches thick and have several layered panes of glass.” As of now, it’s unknown if the cockpit lost pressure resulting from the shattered windshield. 

Delta released the following statement after the incident: Delta flight 760 from Salt Lake City to Washington D.C. experienced a maintenance issue mid-flight. Out of an abundance of caution, the flight crew diverted into Denver and the plane landed routinely. Our team worked quickly to accommodate customers on a new plane, and we sincerely apologize for the delay and inconvenience to their travel plans.”

Wright was appreciative for the pilot’s skill in landing the jet and for Delta’s accommodations. “I’ve never been more grateful to spend an extra three hours in an airport,” she said.

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