A Sichuan Airlines co-pilot was sucked halfway out of a cockpit window

Sergio Conner
May 16, 2018

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.

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

Liu Chuanjian, the pilot who managed to land the plane, told a local Chinese news outlet that there was no warning before the disaster.

"The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window", Liu said, according to Reuters.

The only injuries reported were to the co-pilot, who suffered a sprained wrist and facial cuts, and another crew member, who was slightly hurt as the plane dropped, Chinese aviation officials said.

The next day, a window panel "fell off" an Air India flight, injuring three passengers after the plane hit severe turbulence.

Liu Chuanjian has been hailed a hero on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform, after he successfully landed the Airbus A319 manually on Monday with his co-pilot.

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The cockpit window shattered at an altitude of about 32,000ft.

The harrowing incident comes almost a month after a woman on a Southwest Airlines flight from NY died after shrapnel from a blown engine smashed her window, forcing out part of her body. Many devices were malfunctioning and the plane was jolting strongly. The cabin crew calmed the passengers and helped them put on oxygen masks.

"The plane was nearing mountainous areas, which makes it more hard to descend", said another pilot with Sichuan Airlines. Back on April 17, a Southwest flight over the US experienced a passenger cabin window getting blown out and a passenger was partially sucked out of the aircraft through that hole. "We just tried our best to reassure the passengers and make everyone believe us that we could touch down safely", a flight attendant said.

The windshield shattered about half an hour after the plane had taken off, the Chengdu Economic Daily said.

The Wall Street Journal reports an Airbus team will help investigate the incident.

Cracked windscreens are fairly common, caused by birds or lightning strikes, but to have one come off completely is unusual.

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