A Eurowings flight on its way to Vienna had to make an emergency landing on March 2, 2019, after a crack had suddenly formed in a window of the cockpit.

The 7.1 years-old Airbus A319, registered OE-LYW, was carrying out flight EW 5939 of the German company Eurowings from Faro Airport (FAO), Portugal, to Vienna International Airport (VIE), Austria, with 104 passengers on board, when it declared an emergency and diverted to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS).

Shortly after entering the French airspace, a crack appeared in one of the cockpit windows of the Airbus. On the radio, the captain of the aircraft explained to ATC that “the window is completely destroyed,” according to aviation media Austrianwings.

All 104 passengers aboard were able to leave the aircraft unhurt. They were taken to their final destination by a plane of the German company Lufthansa, the parent company of Eurowings. The aircraft is still stationed at Toulouse-Blagnac airport.

This time, luckily for the flight crew, only the exterior panel of the cockpit window was cracked. This panel, out of the three that composes a cockpit window, has almost no influence on the structural integrity, its purpose being mainly aerodynamic. However, this kind of events are not always so harmless.

On May 14, 2018, an Airbus A319 from Sichuan Airlines was carrying out flight 3U8633 from Chongqing, China, to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, when the cockpit windshield broke off mid flight, forcing the aircraft to divert and make an emergency landing in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Sichuan province.

“Suddenly, the windshield just cracked…The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window,” said the captain to Chinese media. Fortunately, the co-pilot was wearing a seatbelt and was pulled back in. The captain was forced to perform the emergency landing manually with a damaged flight control unit (FCU) as some of its parts had been sucked out through the window.

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“Suddenly, the windshield just cracked…The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window.” These are not the words you want to hear.