Close Shave in the Skies: Crew Averts Disaster as Flight Departs with Missing Window Panes

November 14, 2023 – In a harrowing incident that unfolded in the skies over the Atlantic, a potentially catastrophic flight accident was narrowly averted last week when a commercial flight bound for Florida took off from Stansted Airport in London with two crucial window panes missing. The close call was only realized when the aircraft, an Airbus A321, had ascended beyond 10,000 feet.

The gripping details of this heart-stopping incident were brought to light by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), shedding light on the critical role of vigilant crew members in ensuring the safety of the 11 crew members and 9 passengers on board.

According to reports, the mid-air revelation occurred when a crew member, stationed at the rear of the aircraft, noticed an unusual ‘flapping’ of the seal around one of the windows. To their shock, it was discovered that two window panes were missing as the aircraft soared to an altitude of 14,500 feet. The passengers, unbeknownst to the potential danger, were seated in the middle of the aircraft during this heart-pounding episode.


The quick thinking of the observant crew member played a pivotal role in averting a disaster of significant magnitude. The AAIB, in its preliminary report, highlighted the incident’s gravity, emphasizing that it had the potential for “more serious consequences.” The thorough investigation that ensued not only confirmed the absence of two cabin window panes but also uncovered misalignments in others.

The aircraft, operated by Titan Airways and previously employed for government use, underwent rigorous scrutiny by investigators, underscoring the importance of stringent safety protocols and meticulous inspections in the aviation industry. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical role played by vigilant crew members and the aviation authorities in ensuring the safety and well-being of passengers, especially during unforeseen mid-air emergencies.