World Media

Pilot 'sucked halfway out' of cockpit window mid-flight

Pilot 'sucked halfway out' of cockpit window mid-flight

A Sichuan Airlines co-pilot was "sucked halfway out" of a plane when the front windshield blew out Tuesday.

Flight 3U8633 was en route from Chongqing to Lhasa in Tibet when the accident happened and the plane started losing altitude drastically.

The incident bears some similarities Southwest Airlines flight that made an emergency landing after the engine exploded and shattered a window - partially sucking out passenger Jennifer Riordan.

After the captain heard a deafening sound, he looked over and noticed the right windshield was missing. "The next thing I knew, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out". However, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China's (CAAC) Southwest Regional Administration, the co-pilot suffered scratches and a wrist sprain. "The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges", the pilot said, adding that the cockpit's temperature dropped to minus 40 degrees Celsius.

The co-pilot and a flight attendant sustained injuries, but none of the 119 passengers were hurt in the ordeal.

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Pilot Liu Chuanjian told Chinese media that the aircraft, an Airbus A319, had just reached cruising altitude of 32,000ft when there was a bang in the cockpit and he realised that the right-hand side of the windscreen was gone. One other cabin crew member was injured during the emergency landing, in Chengdu, Sichuan province, although no further details were given.

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. Many devices were malfunctioning and the plane was jolting strongly. A quick-thinking flight attendant grabbed Lancaster's legs as he was flying out the window and held on. 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.

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". "Just a huge noise", Liu said, according to the China News Service.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

Fox News said that the Sichuan Airlines incident is the sixth time in one month where there have been airline window problems.


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