Pilot 'sucked halfway out' after cockpit windshield shatters

Saul Bowman
May 15, 2018

Pictures published by government-run Chengdu Economic Daily showed the plane missing one of its cockpit windows and damage to its cockpit controls.

"Suddenly, the windshield just cracked and made a loud bang", he reportedly said. None of the 119 passengers on the flight to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, were injured. He says he felt the cold air and saw how the cockpit door opened. The aircraft made a safe landing in Chengdu where only two injuries were reported-a member of the cockpit crew (likely the first officer) and another cabin crew member. A lot of equipment malfunctioned and the noise was so great that the radio could not be heard.

Captain Liu Chuanjian's heroic actions moments after a cockpit windshield blew out on Monday, almost pulling his co-pilot from the Airbus A319, has won him praise from flight professionals and internet readers for saving over 100 people onboard.

According to Reuters, though no passengers were injured in the incident, the Civil Aviation Administration of China's Southwest Regional Administration (CAAC) stated that one of the pilots suffered scratches and waist pains.

The plane was vibrating strongly and it was impossible to read the instruments, said Liu, who was a former flight instructor in the Chinese air force.

Liu was hailed as a hero on social media after being forced to land the Airbus A319 manually following the decompression, The Independent reports.

The cabin crew had been handing out breakfast to passengers when the plane pitched forward. "We didn't know what was going on and we panicked", an unnamed passenger was quoted as saying. "Then the oxygen masks dropped - we experienced a few seconds of free fall before it stabilised again".

"I'm still nervous. I don't dare to take an aeroplane anymore". But I'm also happy I had a narrow escape'.

While authorities continue to investigate the accident, Sichuan Airlines noted that the flight had experienced a "mechanical failure".

Although the occurrences of windshields cracking happen quite often, the instance of an entire windshield coming off is rare. He survived the incident, which occurred on a BAC-111 jet.

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