Toronto-Bound LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Returns To Warsaw With Cracked Windshield

  • LOT Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner SP-LSF

    LOT Polish Airlines

    IATA / ICAO Code:
    LO / LOT

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub (s):
    Warsaw Chopin Airport

    Year Founded:
    1928

    Alliance:
    Star Alliance

    CEO:
    Rafal Milczarski

    Country:
    Poland

A LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner was forced to divert back to Warsaw, Poland after a crack was found in the windshield. The flight was bound for Toronto, Canada. The aircraft returned to Warsaw safely, and all passengers and crew were reported safe. The passengers will be rerouted on another aircraft to their destination.

Cracked windshield

On Sunday, August 14th, a LOT Polish Airlines flight was diverted due to a crack in the aircraft’s windshield. Flight number LOT45 had left Warsaw, Poland (WAW) and was en route to Toronto, Canada (YYZ), when the flight crew discovered the crack. The aircraft was approximately 20 nautical miles southwest of Stavanger, Norway, at flight level 380 when the captain decided to divert back to Warsaw. To avoid further damage to the windshield or a loss in cabin pressure, the pilots brought the aircraft down to flight level 100. The transition in altitude took roughly 40 minutes.

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A LOT 787 aborted its flight plan to Toronto and returned to Warsaw because of a crack in its windshield. Photo: LOT Polish Airlines

The aircraft landed safely on Warsaw’s runway 33. The time between detection of the hazard and the subsequent landing was approximately 110 minutes. The total distance covered by the flight was 6,954 km. The airline told the public that the aircraft returned to Warsaw because of a crack in one of the cockpit windows. It also stated that all passengers would be rerouted to Toronto on another aircraft. No additional information has been given regarding this rerouting. Simple Flying has reached out to the airline regarding the alleged cause of the incident. This article will be updated once a response has been received.


The aircraft

The aircraft used on this flight was a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with the tail number SP-LRC. The aircraft is one of the youngest in the airline’s fleet. LOT Polish utilizes these aircraft primarily for its long transoceanic flights. The last 13 flights operated by this aircraft have been between Europe and North America. All but two of these flights operated either to or from Warsaw. Before this flight, the aircraft had just flown a trip from Warsaw to Los Angeles and back. The flight arrived in Warsaw over two hours late and was turned around in just over two hours before departing for Toronto.

The incident occurred aboard one of LOT Polish Airlines newest additions, the Boeing 787. Photo: LOT Polish Airlines

A dangerous incident

While uncommon, a crack in the windshield is still one of the more common reasons for diverting a flight. While it may seem small, if the crack were to create an opening, even a small one, the aircraft could lose cabin pressure. Typically, when an airplane loses cabin pressure, it will be accompanied by insufficient oxygen levels, creating a dangerous situation for the aircraft and its inhabitants. Many airliners have been brought down over the years due to a loss in cabin pressure.

When the cabin crew first noticed a crack in the windshield on this flight, they decided to turn back to Warsaw and descend to flight level 100 (approximately 10,000 feet above sea level). A loss in cabin pressure would be far less dangerous at this altitude. Thankfully the aircraft lost no pressure, and the pilots managed to land safely in Warsaw.

What do you think of this incident? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Aviation Herald, Flight Radar 24

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