FOD Blamed For Cracked Windshields At DIA


Although windborne debris was at first dismissed as a cause for the 14 cracked aircraft windshields last week at Denver International Airport, investigators now are saying FOD, or foreign-object debris, was indeed to blame. Microscopic analysis showed fine particles caused pitting that in turn caused cracking, NTSB investigator Jennifer Kaiser told the Denver Post. The runways had been sanded during recent snowstorms, and it’s suspected that the winds, gusting up to 48 mph, drove the fine sand particles into the windshields. The fractures affected six passenger jets as they were taking off, seven on the airport surface, and one at 19,000 feet. The NTSB offered no explanation regarding that high-altitude incident. Also unexplained was the apparent lack of damage to any aircraft surfaces other than windscreens. “The only commonality across aircraft type, operator, location, time and phase of flight was the wind and weather,” Kaiser told the Post.