Plane used by King Charles and Rishi Sunak emergency landed at Stansted Airport after windows fell out

King Charles III and Queen Camilla getting off a plane in Paris. File image -Credit:Getty Images
King Charles III and Queen Camilla getting off a plane in Paris. File image -Credit:Getty Images

A plane previously used to carry King Charles and Rishi Sunak had three windows fall out when lights used to film an advert melted the frames, a report has found. The Titan Airways Airbus lost three windows at 14,00-feet and had to land at Stansted Airport shortly after take-off.

The plane was heading to Florida in the USA last October when the windows fell out, a report from the Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) said. Passengers were alerted by a loud noise and cabin crew found a loose window. None of the 24 people on board was injured, but on landing crew found three missing window and damage to the tail.

The plane had previously been used to carry King Charles and Camilla on a state visit to France and had been used on official trips by Rishi Sunak and James Cleverly, reports BristolLive. None of them were onboard the plane at the time of the incident.

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An AAIB report said the frames around the windows shrunk due to high-intensity lights used to film an advert a day before take-off. Six lights with a combined power of 72,000 watts had been shone on the outside of the plane while filming was carried out inside.

The halogen lights, 700 times as powerful as a household bulb, were designed to simulate the rising sun. The lights were shone on the outside of the plane for five and a half hours, focussing on the cabin windows.

They were then moved to another area and used for another four hours. The lights' manufacturer says they have the power to raise surface temperature by 64C from six metres.

The lights were placed six to nine metres away from the plane. A Titan Airways spokesman told BristolLive: "We would like to thank the members of the AAIB team for their extremely thorough and professional investigation. The aviation industry as a whole will benefit from the lessons learnt from this event.

"We are also pleased to hear that our colleagues at Airbus will be circulating further information to its worldwide customer base, highlighting the potential damage that can be caused by high-intensity lighting.

"We are also grateful to all of our crew members onboard, whose swift and professional handling of the incident was exemplary."