Mid-Air Scare As Ice Block Shatters Plane Windscreen


The windscreen of a British Airways plane was shattered mid-air in a rare incident

A block of ice that fell from a plane flying 1,000 feet above shattered the windscreen of a British Airways plane. The Boeing 777, flying from London’s Gatwick airport to Costa Rica in Central America, was flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet when the ice block struck its windshield, reported the Daily Mail. With a damaged windshield, the pilots of the British Airways Flight BA2236 managed to fly it to San Jose in California where the repairs were done. However, the delay meant that around 200 passengers, who were due back in London by Christmas Eve, could not reach home in time.

The flight was due to leave San Jose for Gatwick on December 23 evening but the time taken to repair the windscreen meant the passengers were delayed by at least 50 hours, and got to leave for London only on Boxing Day, reported the Daily Mail.

The passengers were initially told to expect a delay of 90 minutes for their overnight trip. But a failure to get a plane diverted from Jamaica forced them to spend another night at the airport hotel in San Jose.

Jo Mitchell and Geir Olafsson, who were on a honeymoon trip, had expected to return to their home in Edinburgh via Gatwick for Christmas. “We were desperately trying to find a connecting flight at this point that would get us there in time to not miss his family Christmas,” Ms Mitchell told The Independent. “The BA app was saying something vague about the flight being delayed to the next day. The flight time, however, only showed a four-hour delay. We had received no information via email or message so we hoped it was just a glitch,” added Ms Mitchell.

She said people at the airport were begging the airline staff for an alternative, some were angry and others cried after they were told that they would miss Christmas. On December 25, when the replacement flight arrived, the departure slot for Gatwick airport was missed because of a discrepancy in passenger numbers, according to Alice Hill, another passenger, who tweeted about the same.

A British Airways spokesperson expressed a “heartfelt apology” to the passengers for the delay due to the damaged windscreen. The spokesperson, however, told The Independent they would never fly an aircraft until they are confident that it was fully safe to do so, and, in this case, their engineers were unable to clear it.

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