Thu | May 6, 2021

Air Jamaica scare

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2009 | 5:57 PM

An Air Jamaica aircraft, which was heading to New York, was forced to return to Kingston this morning after a crack was seen in the windshield.

The mid-morning flight had left Kingston\'s Norman Manley International Airport and was in Cuban air space when the crack was discovered on the windshield in front of the co-pilot.

Air Jamaica president Bruce Nobles said there was no emergency, and none of the people on board was at risk.

But he said the pilot safely returned to Kingston.

Mr Nobles said the incident is not unusual as it happened three times last year with an Air Jamaica plane and occurs on other aircraft.

The passengers who were on the aircraft were scheduled to leave the island late yesterday when another plane was brought in from New York.

Meanwhile the Civil Aviation Authority has not received a formal report on the incident.

But officials there agreed with the Air Jamaica president that cracks in aircraft windshields were not unusual.

Aircraft windshields are designed to withstand air pressure at 400 knots and survive hitting a bird without catastrophic failure.

According to an American aviation official, one of the most likely causes of cracked windshields is the internal heat system being misapplied.

It could also be caused if the heating is not uniformed or if a bird hits the windscreen at a really high rate of speed in the air.