December 11, 2018

Co-pilot partially sucked out of broken cockpit window, escapes with minor injuries

16 May 2018, 02:04 | Darnell Patrick

Co-pilot partially sucked out of broken cockpit window, escapes with minor injuries

Co-pilot partially sucked out of broken cockpit window, escapes with minor injuries

As pilot Liu Chuanjian flew over Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Monday, the righthand side cockpit window broke, and his co-pilot was nearly sucked out.

Officials said the incident happened Monday when the windshield shattered on Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633. "I looked aside and found half of the co-pilot's body was already outside the window", Sichuan Airlines Capt. Liu Chuanjian said, the South China Morning Post reported.

The airline had reached a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet on its route from Chongqing, China, to Lhasa, Tibet, when a loud crack was heard and the windshield flew off, causing both a sudden loss of cabin pressure and the co-pilot, according to Reuters. The co-pilot suffered scratches and a sprained wrist, but survived thanks to his seatbelt, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. "The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges", says Liu.

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

Video footage shot by passengers showed baggage falling from overhead lockers during the emergency landing and oxygen masks dropping for use.

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 malfunctioned 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.

"The windshield cracked suddenly and gave a huge bang".

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A passenger described the panic in the cabin to the China News Service.

An unnamed passenger on the plane, which was carrying a total of 128 people, told the Chinese state-owned Xinhua News Agency: "The crew were serving us breakfast when the aircraft began to shake".

"The windshield has not recorded any failures, nor did it require any maintenance and replacement work" before the incident, Tang Weibin said.

Thankfully, Captain Liu, a former military pilot, was able to perform some life-saving maneuvers.

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

Cockpit windscreens do crack sometimes after things like bird strikes, but it's rare for a whole section to break.

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