Published: Wed, May 16, 2018

Sichuan Airlines copilot sucked out of cockpit through broken window

Sichuan Airlines copilot sucked out of cockpit through broken window

The co-pilot was on a Sichuan Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing on Monday having just reached a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet when a deafening sound tore through the cockpit.

Sichuan Airlines 3U8633 was en route from Chongqing in south-west China to Lhasa in Tibet when the incident happened.

Liu Chuanjian braved the intense cold and blasting wind to slow the airliner from its original speed of about 800-900 kph (500-560 mph) to land in about 20 minutes.

"The windshield burst suddenly and a loud noise was heard, and when I looked to the side, I saw that the co-pilot was already halfway out of the window", Liu Chuanjian told Chinese newspaper Chengdu Business Daily.

Freezing air also blasted through the cockpit's open windshield panel. The co-pilot suffered a sprained wrist along with some cuts after his ordeal of being partially pulled out of the plane through that hole.

The safety director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China said at a media conference that the plane "shed its right windshield" as it was flying over Chengdu. "I couldn't hear the radio". "We experienced a few seconds of free fall before it stabilized again", an unnamed passenger told China News Service. When all was said and done, the emergency landing was successful and other than the attendant and co-pilot with minor injuries, everyone else was shaken, but fine. Another flight attendant grabbed the first flight attendant's belt to ensure that he and the pilot didn't disappear into the sky, while the co-pilot struggled to take the plane out of a nose dive that was triggered when the captain's feet latched onto the controls.

The footage shows oxygen masks being released in the cabin, due to the change in air pressure on board.

The passenger said, "I'm still nervous".

France's BEA accident investigation agency and Airbus are sending officials to China to investigate.

The incident came almost a month after a woman died after she was partially sucked out a window that broke during a Southwest Airlines flight in the U.S.

Incidents involving partly broken windshields are somewhat common.

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