Japan Boeing plane forced to make emergency landing after crack found in cockpit window

A Boeing plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Japan Saturday, after the crew found a crack in the cockpit window .

The fracture was found on the outermost of four layers of windows surrounding the cockpit, a spokesperson for All Nippon Airways said.

The pilot made an about-face and returned to the Sapporo-New Chitose airport. The flight had been making the roughly 1.5-hour journey to Toyama when the crack was found.

Fortunately, there were no reported injuries among the 59 passengers and six crew members.

“The crack was not something that affected the flight’s control or pressurization,” said the spokesperson.

The plane was a 737-800 aircraft, not the 737 MAX 9 airplane that made headlines last week when a cabin panel blew off an Alaska Airlines jet just minutes into its flight, a catastrophic failure that miraculously caused zero deaths.

The door plug was ripped off the plane and plunged 16,000 feet into the backyard of a Portland, Oregon schoolteacher.

Federal investigators probing the near-disastrous fuselage panel blowout are looking into the possibility that the hardware that was supposed to keep it secured was never installed in the first place.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways flight was forced to return to its departure airport after finding a fissure in the cockpit window. AFP via Getty Images
The fracture was found on the outermost of four layers of windows surrounding the cockpit (not pictured). AFP/Getty Images

United Airlines reported finding loose bolts and “installation issues” on some Boeing 737 MAX 9 jetliners in the wake of the incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board grounded all the Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes on Friday as it announced it would mandate stricter safety checks and would tighten oversight over the company itself.

Mounting claims of insufficient on-site quality and technical support to its suppliers, as well as questionable safety concerns in the Spirit Aerosystems factories where the 737 MAX planes are built may also lend some insight into the wild incident, employers at the manufacturer told the Wall Street Journal.

Boeing 737 MAX jets were grounded after a door plug was ripped from an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after takeoff. via REUTERS

“It is known at Spirit that if you make too much noise and cause too much trouble, you will be moved,” Joshua Dean, a former Spirit quality auditor who says he was fired after flagging misdrilled holes in fuselages, told the newspaper.

“It doesn’t mean you completely disregard stuff, but they don’t want you to find everything and write it up.”

All Boeing MAX jets were grounded for two years after two crashes on Indonesia’s Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines in 2018 and 2019 killed 346 people.

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