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Cracked Cockpit Window Forces Emergency Landing

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By Alex Temblador, TravelPulse

Late Friday night, 155 passengers and a seven-member crew of Icelandair made a quick unexpected landing when pilots noticed a 20-centimeter crack in the cockpit window.

The plane was on its way to Reykjavik from Orlando, Florida, but was diverted to Bagotville, Quebec. Some say the plane dropped 26,000 feet in 10 minutes, causing a bit of a fright to passengers.

Passenger Harrison Hove told CTV News Channel, “I was in the back of the airplane stretching my legs, and all of a sudden you hear a ding like you would hear for the 'fasten your seatbelt' sign, and immediately two flight attendants booked it to the front. They didn’t run but it was fast.”

“It started to get a little turbulent,” he said, adding, “It was rather frightening because we knew something was going on but we didn’t know what."

The captain reportedly came over the intercom to tell passengers that he was in "complete control."

CTV News Channel interviewed aviation expert Phyl Durdey who said that the pilots lowered the plane quickly to depressurize the cabin and prevent any further damage to the window.

“The aircraft was at 35,000 feet, so there was a differential in pressure between the outside of the airplane and the inside,” he said. “If there’s a structural failure, you don’t want that window completely shattering.”

Icelandair responded to inquiries on Twitter about the emergency landing, noting that passengers were taken to a hotel to rest and placed on another flight.

Icelandair also told CTV News that the crew followed standard procedures.

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