The co-pilot of a Sichuan Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing on Monday was ‘sucked halfway’ out of the plane after a cockpit windshield blew out, media reported, citing the aircraft’s captain. Liu Chuanjian, hailed a hero on social media after having to land the Airbus A319 manually, told the Chengdu Economic Daily his aircraft had just reached a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet when a deafening sound tore through the cockpit. The cockpit experienced a sudden loss of pressure and drop in temperature and when he looked over, the cockpit’s right windshield was gone.
“There was no warning sign. Suddenly, the windshield just cracked and made a loud bang. The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window,” he was quoted as saying. “Everything in the cockpit was floating in the air. Most of the equipment malfunctioned and I couldn’t hear the radio. The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges.”
The co-pilot, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pulled back in. He suffered scratches and a sprained wrist, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said, adding that one other cabin crew member was also injured in the descent. None of the plane’s 119 passengers was injured. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said France’s BEA accident investigation agency and Airbus would send staff to China to investigate, according to CAAC News which is affiliated to the aviation regulator.