‘My co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window’: Pilot describes mid-flight terror
A co-pilot was sucked halfway out of a plane’s cockpit window when its windshield shattered during a flight over China on Monday, local media reported.
The Sichuan Airlines aircraft was flying from the southern city of Chongqing to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. The pilot, Liu Chuanjian, told local media, the aircraft had just reached a cruising altitude of 9,700 metres when out of nowhere there was a loud bang, followed by a loss of pressure and drop in temperature in the cockpit.
Liu heard the loud noise and looked over; the cockpit’s right windshield has been blasted off. The co-pilot, who was luckily wearing a seatbelt, was pulled halfway through the window.
“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 told the media outlet.
WATCH: Sichuan Airlines pilot ‘sucked halfway’ out of window
“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 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 were injured and the aircraft safely landed at the Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China.
An investigation into the incident is underway.
The incident came nearly 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.
WATCH: Passengers pull woman back in after she’s partially sucked out of Southwest Airlines flight
In 1990, one of the pilots on British Airways Flight 5390 was blown partially out of the cabin window after its windshield blew out at 7,000 metres. He survived the incident, which occurred on a BAC-111 jet.
— With files from Reuters
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