A plane took off from an airport near London with two missing windowpanes, a government agency said in a recently released report.
The incident happened Oct. 6 on an Airbus A321 charter flight traveling from London Stansted Airport to Orlando International Airport, according to a report from the United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation. Eleven crew and nine passengers were onboard.
After takeoff, several passengers noticed that the cabin seemed “noisier and colder” than they were used to, the report said. A crew member also noticed the increased cabin noise and noticed that a “window seal was flapping in the airflow and the windowpane appeared to have slipped down.”
The crew member described the noise as “loud enough to damage your hearing.” After the crew member informed the pilots of the situation, they made a decision to return to London Stansted Airport.
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In total, the flight was airborne for 36 minutes and reached just over 14,000 feet before it landed.
After landing, the flight crew inspected the aircraft from the outside and noticed that it was missing two windowpanes while a third was dislodged. The cabin was pressurized normally throughout the entire flight, according to the report.
In addition to the missing windowpanes, a fourth window protruded from where it’s normally located.
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The U.K. agency found an interesting culprit for the missing windowpanes: bright lights used for a filming session involving the plane one day before the flight.
According to the agency, the windows sustained “thermal damage and distortion” as several lights caused elevated temperatures on the area where the windowpane was, since the lights were illuminated for four to five and a half hours.
Pictures released by the government agency show plastic deformation around the damaged windowpanes, the agency said.