Southwest flight from Chicago makes emergency landing due to window issue

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, made an unplanned landing Wednesday after a window cracked, the Federal Aviation Administration and passengers said.

Flight 957 landed safely at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said.

Southwest said the unscheduled stop came from a reported crack to the outer pane of the multi-pane window.

Passenger Linda Holley texted her son Ryan with a picture of the damaged window.

“Window on plane cracked during flight. Landing in Cleveland to be safe. Everything ok but scary,” one of her texts read.

In another, she said: “Yes Southwest. Just heard loud noise. Very large crack with piece of window missing at bottom. Just landed. Everything ok. Don’t know plan yet”

The FAA said it will investigate what caused the window to crack. So far, the cause is not known.

There was no depressurization in the cabin, and therefore the oxygen masks were not deployed, FAA spokesman Greg Martin said. He said the pilot did not declare an emergency but did ask to divert to a nearby airport.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines said.

The Crew of Southwest Flight 957, with scheduled service from Chicago Midway International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport, made the decision to divert the plane to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport for maintenance review of one of the multiple layers of a window pane.  The flight landed uneventfully in Cleveland.  The aircraft has been taken out of service for maintenance review, and our local Cleveland Employees are working diligently to accommodate the 76 Customers on a new aircraft to Newark.

This incident comes a few weeks after the engine of a different Southwest failed and a woman was killed.  On April 17th about 20 minutes into a flight from New York to Dallas debris from the engine broke open a window, causing the woman to almost be sucked out of the plane.  She was pulled back into the plane but died at a hospital in Philadelphia.

It was Southwest’s first passenger death and the first death on a U.S. airline in more than nine years.