An investigation concluded that a recent incident of Titan Airways involving a A321LR returning to London Stansted Airport was due to the plane simply lacking securely attached windows before takeoff.
As reported The Aviation Heraldthere British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating an event that occurred on October 4, 2023. It involves a Titan Airways Airbus A321LR approximately two years old with registration code G-OATW, without passengers and bound for Orlando in Florida, which returned to its departure airport Stansted. It appears that the plane turned around after the crew reported a excessive noise in the cabin. The aircraft remained at approximately 15,000 feet to drop fuel before returning to make an emergency landing at Stansted Airport approximately 35 minutes after initial departure.
Upon landing, three cabin windows were discovered to be missing or loose. Additionally, the left stabilizer was damaged, it is believed that one of the windows that came loose hit the stabilizer. This incident is being investigated as an accident.
What is disconcerting, however, is that the aircraft had been subject to maintenance and inspection routine only a few days before, since he was in the workshop from September 23 to October 2. Additionally, the aircraft is less than three years old and was delivered to Titan Airways in March 2021. Prior to being used by Titan, the British government used the aircraft for VIP flights.
Titan Airways does not operate scheduled passenger flights, but offers charter flights with passengers. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, but how the plane was able to operate with broken windows, or how the windows broke in the first place, remains unclear. Titan will certainly have to answer many questions in the coming days.