Co-pilot 'sucked halfway' out of plane after windshield blew out during Sichuan Airlines flight

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1 NEWS | Associated Press

The co-pilot was "sucked halfway" out of the plane after the windshield blew out on a Sichuan Airlines flight that made an emergency landing in China on Monday.

Flight 3U8633 was forced to make an emergency landing at the Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu, China.
Source: Associated Press

Captain Liu Chuanjian was hailed a hero after landing the plane manually in Chengdu City after the plane lost its windshield as it reached a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported. 

The captain looked to his right and saw the right windshield was gone after a deafening roar tore through the cockpit, which lost pressure, with the temperature dropping rapidly as well.

"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 said.

"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 sprained his wrist in the incident, was wearing and seat belt and was pulled back into the plane.

Passengers from the flight recounted the frightening experience after the plane, diverted from Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, to make an emergency landing at Shuangliu International Airport.  

Wang Qianlong, one of the passengers, recalled some details about the frightening moment, in his hotel room soon afterwards.

"The lights suddenly went off. A flight attendant and her trolley were lifted in the air and then fell onto the floor. My seat was close to the aisle, so I could see the process very clearly. The attendant was hurt a little when she fell.

"After another passenger and I helped her to get up and seated her beside me, she put the oxygen mask on. Other attendants in safe positions repeatedly reminded the passengers to put on oxygen masks," Wang told a reporter about the chaotic moment.

"The plane suddenly lost weight and started to drop sharply, it should be a large fall. But it then became steady again, and remained steady until we landed at the airport," Wang added.

Another passenger Zhou Shili also described a similar experience.

"I suddenly heard a bang from the top of the plane, very loud. There was then a loud airflow noise, sounded like the air was pushed into the plane. That was a very loud noise. The whole cabin then went dark, and oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling for every seat.

"Then the plane started to drop, but not for long before it was stabilized again," said Zhou.

Chinese civil aviation authorities have started the investigation into the incident on Monday morning.

No seriously injured were reported during the scare.

The passenger plane was manufactured by French company Airbus, and started service in July 2011. 

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