Pilot "sucked halfway out" as cockpit window shatters at 32000 feet

Pauline Gross
May 16, 2018

The co-pilot was sucked towards the breakage, but he remained calm as Captain Liu Chuanjian and his crew made an emergency landing, according to Chinese media reports.

Monday's smashed cockpit window happened to a Sichuan Airlines flight traveling at 30,000 feet after it departed from Chongqing and was headed for the capital of Tibet, according to CNN News.

The co-pilot of an Airbus A319 jetliner was sucked halfway out of the cockpit after the windshield of the plane suddenly shattered at 32,000 feet.

After the captain heard a deafening sound, he looked over and noticed the right windshield was missing. "The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window", Liu said. The co-pilot suffered scratches and a sprained wrist, but survived thanks to his seatbelt, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. "The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges", Liu said.

Monday's incident didn't result in the worst-case scenario, but it may still shake some passengers' confidence in an industry that has statistically speaking never been safer.

Workers inspect a Sichuan Airlines aircraft that made an emergency landing after a windshield on the cockpit broke off, at an airport in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China May 14, 2018.

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While Sichuan Airlines mostly operates in Asia, it also offers flights to worldwide destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. "Most of the equipment malfunctioned ... and I couldn't hear the radio." he added. "The oxygen masks dropped ..."

"It is a huge challenge facing decompression and low temperatures", said the Air China pilot.

By Tuesday afternoon, more than 160 million people had viewed or participated in discussions about the pilot on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Back on April 17, a Southwest flight over the USA experienced a passenger cabin window getting blown out and a passenger was partially sucked out of the aircraft through that hole.

"I'm still nervous. I don't dare to take an airplane anymore".

A passenger who gave his name as Phuntsog said that when the accident occurred, the cabin lights and electronics went out, and flight attendant's intercom service was cut.

What makes this incident even rarer is that the windshieldsmight developcracks in case of a bird hit or lightning strike but never does an entire windshield give way in such a manner.

Other reports by GizPress

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