Delta B767. Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz

A Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Washington, D.C. was forced to make an emergency landing after the cockpit windscreen shattered mid-flight.

Pilots brought the aircraft to a safe landing in Denver, only 400 miles from the flight’s origin city. The crew are reported to have assured passengers and asked them to remain calm during the ordeal.

Passenger Kirk Knowlton photographed the smashed windscreen upon landing and the extent of the damage is clear. The glass, despite being shattered, remained fixed in its frame.

Commercial airliners windscreens can be up to two inches thick and comprised of several layers of glass.

According to reports from passengers, about 90 minutes into the flight and upon reaching cruising altitude, the crew announced that the pilot had decided to divert the aircraft. One passenger described the scene:

“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.”

Passengers were advised during the flight that there was an issue with the windscreen but were only able to see the shattered glass once they landed in the Colorado state capital. The flight was carrying 198 passengers.

Incident deemed ‘maintenance issue’

They were subsequently assigned a new aircraft and allowed to complete their journey to Washington.

The airline was very considerate according to reports and passengers commended the crew for bringing the plane down safely.

In a statement, Delta described the situation as “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 apologise for the delay and inconvenience to their travel plans.”

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