http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/257076

Northwest Airlines Resembles Bar Fight Victim When Nose Cone Collapses During Flight

Posted Jul 7, 2008 by Nikki Weingartner
We hear of in-flight emergencies when landing gear or engines fail during a routine flight but for one Northwest Airlines flight, the emergency landed different results when the nose cone caved in mid-flight yesterday. No one was injured.
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Sunday's Detroit, Michigan to Tampa, Florida flight 478 incurred some freakish damage to its nose cone during flight and investigators are trying to figure out why, according to a news report.
Cited by a company spokes person as a "minor maintenance issue", the rare event that looked like the plane sustained a punch in the nose did not cause any problems and all 182-200* passengers on board were safe, although the damage created quite a delay for those passengers making their connecting flight on to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Another news station reported that the leading theory in the accident was that the plane might have hit a bird some time following take-off but that pilots didn't feel the collision endangered the passengers or equipment enough to force an emergency landing.
Apparently, passengers were unaware that anything was wrong until they were safe on the ground in Tampa, Florida and were surrounded by emergency vehicles.
If you were a passenger on a flight that sustained damage in flight that could pose a risk, would you want to know immediately?
*the exact number of passengers on board differ between news reports