A British airline passenger has pleaded guilty for "going nuts" onboard a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner and punching one of the plane's magical windows, which dims at the push of a button, instead of using a traditional pull-down shade.
Nicholas Whittaker, 43, punched the inner plastic window beside his seat during a flight back in May, from Florida to Manchester, England. The punch resulted in a cracked window, which provides no real protection for the plane or its passengers. Although no lives were in danger, it did cause a panic among Whittaker's fellow travelers.
He was arrested upon landing in Manchester. During his court appearance this week, Whittaker pleaded guilty to recklessly acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or anyone on it. He expressed remorse, tearfully saying, "I've only got one feeling about all this and that's for all those people that were frightened to death up there. I don't deserve sympathy. I don't." He added that he is seeking treatment for mental health issues, saying, "For me to try to justify it is impossible. There's no justification. All I can do is offer the reasons and offer the apologies and get what's up there upstairs fixed."
The court's judge adjourned Whittaker's sentencing until January 6th, and said "all options remain on the table" including a prison sentence.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has windows that are unique to the industry. Passengers can dim and brighten the amount of light filtered through them, by pressing a button just below the window. The electrified windows are made by PPG, and work through a current that runs through a gel which is between two thin panes of glass. The 787s windows are also 65 percent larger than the industry average.