PEI

Passenger recounts 'shocking' flight after object breaks outer window

An Island man says he had an unnerving experience after an object broke the outer pane of glass on his flight from Charlottetown to Montreal.

David Smith says object struck a window, puncturing the outer layer of glass

An Island man says he had an unnerving experience after an object broke the outer pane of glass on his flight from Charlottetown to Montreal. (David Smith )

An Island man says he had an unnerving experience after an object broke the outer pane of a window on his flight from Charlottetown to Montreal. 

David Smith was travelling with his daughter on the Air Canada Express flight Friday. They were about halfway through the flight when he heard a loud bang, and lifted the window's blind to have a look outside.

I've flown a heck of a lot and I've never seen anything like that in my life.- David Smith

"As I did that, what looked to me like a piece of ice – it happened very fast, I couldn't be positive – hit the window right beside my face," said Smith.

Smith says he immediately closed the blind, and heard two more bangs from outside the plane, sounds he assumes came from whatever struck the window.

"I believe it came from the propeller because it hit the side of the plane with such force, and the propeller was directly beside me."

Didn't want to alarm other passengers

Smith says he kept the blind shut for the remainder of the flight, not wanting the break in the outer window pane to alarm his daughter or any of the other passengers.

He alerted the cabin crew once they'd landed, and says it wasn't until he got off the plane that he became emotional about what had happened.

"It was really quite surprising, shocking, and really, really unnerving having that happen with my daughter sitting beside me like that," said Smith. "I've flown a heck of a lot and I've never seen anything like that in my life."

Smith says he doesn't blame the company for what happened, but describes the experience as "scary" and says he's still curious about what hit the plane.

A rare occurrence 

In a statement sent to the CBC, Jazz Aviation, which operated the flight for Air Canada Express confirms that a passenger on flight 8536 reported a broken outer window pane to a flight attendant. The company said it was a rare occurrence. 

Jazz Aviation says maintenance inspected the plane and found no mechanical problems with the aircraft and no damage to the inner window pane. There was also no other damage or missing parts from the aircraft.

According to the company, maintenance personnel will investigate the cause of the damage and perform any necessary repairs, though it's unclear how long the investigation might take, or what may have caused the damage.

Clarifications

  • Jazz Aviation sent the statement to CBC. Jazz operates under the banner of Air Canada Express as a contract carrier.
    Aug 27, 2016 9:15 AM AT

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