August 19, 2018

China's Sichuan Airlines Pilot Half-Sucked Out of Airplane After Windshield Cracks

16 May 2018, 02:11 | Glen Norman

China's Sichuan Airlines Pilot Half-Sucked Out of Airplane After Windshield Cracks

China's Sichuan Airlines Pilot Half-Sucked Out of Airplane After Windshield Cracks

And then on Monday, the co-pilot of a Chinese Sichuan Airlines flight was also nearly sucked out of his plane after a part of the cockpit windshield broke.

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.

An emergency landing had to be made in southwest China earlier this week after a broken cockpit window almost resulted in a copilot being sucked out of an airplane.

The plane was at 32,000 feet in the air about 80 minutes into the flight when the incident occurred, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported. "The next thing I knew, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out", said Captain Liu.

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The co-pilot, who was wearing a seatbelt, was fortunately pulled back in, only suffering scratches and a sprained wrist, the China's Civil Aviation Administration said, while another cabin crew member was also injured in the descent. "The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges", he was quoted as saying by Chinese media.

However, none of the plane's 119 passengers were injured and the aircraft safely landed at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China. Cabin crew held on to his legs while the other pilot made an emergency landing.

While Sichuan Airlines mostly operates in Asia, it also offers flights to global destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.

"We didn't know what was going on and we panicked", a passenger told the state-run China News Service. "The noise was so loud that we could barely hear the radio". More than 50 took a later flight, arriving in Lhasa by the afternoon.

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Millions of people in China commented on the pilot's actions on the Twitter-like social media platform Weibo, according to Agence France-Presse, with the most popular post titled "My Hero Captain".

"The oxygen masks dropped. we experienced a few seconds of free-fall before it stabilised again". A quick-thinking flight attendant grabbed Lancaster's legs as he was flying out the window and held on.

The CAA said the windshield showed no signs of malfunction that required any maintenance prior to the incident.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

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Windscreen cracks are a reasonably common occurrence and can be caused by lightning bolts or a "bird strike" - when birds hit the plane at lower altitude.

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