Chinese plane windshield pops out mid-flight

Chinese plane windshield pops out mid-flight

Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 was forced to perform an extreme emergency landing in China after one of the cockpit's windshields shattered, almost sucking the co-pilot out of the plane at 32,000 feet.

The co-pilot, who was wearing a seatbelt, was fortunately pulled back in, only suffering scratches and a sprained wrist, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said, while another cabin crew member was also injured in the descent. A flight attendant also suffered a minor injury when the plane lost altitude.

An aviation blogger said online that the pilot would have had to land the Airbus A319 in hard conditions, with low temperatures in the cockpit, strong winds and some equipment not functioning properly, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. "When I looked over, the co-pilot's body's was hanging halfway out of the window".

A separate report said the aircraft had accumulated 19,912 flight hours since entering service at Sichuan Airlines in July 2011.

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The flight, Sichuan Airlines 3U8633, left the central Chinese municipality of Chongqing on Monday morning and was bound for the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

After 20 minutes without a windshield, Mr Liu was able to safely land the plane.

"Without any sign, the windshield blasted open with a huge bang", pilot Liu Chuanjian told Chengu Economic Daily.

The video, filmed in Flight 3U8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa on May 14, shows passengers using oxygen masks and a flight attendant saying: "Those exits can not be opened" and "Be safe". On May 3, another Southwest Airlines flight was forced to conduct an emergency landing after a cabin window pane cracked in mid-flight. The passenger who spoke to China Youth Daily said that he was sitting in the middle of the plane.

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Twenty-seven passengers received medical checkups in a hospital in Chengdu, but no injuries were detected. Most of the equipment malfunctioned ... and I couldn't hear the radio.

The aircraft was shaking ferociously and he could not read the metres.

According to flight tracking website FlightRadar24, the aircraft was an Airbus A319. Oxygen masks can be seen hanging from the ceiling as cabin crew rush to secure the plane for the emergency landing. The cause of the break in the right windshield of the cockpit is yet to be ascertained as investigations are underway.

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