According to the local media reports, the co-pilot of a Sichuan Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing on Monday was “sucked halfway” out of the plane after a cockpit windshield blew out.
Captain Liu Chuanjian, hailed as a hero on social media after having to land the Airbus A319 manually, told the Chengdu Economic Daily his aircraft had just reached a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet when a deafening sound tore through the cockpit.
“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 was quoted as saying.
“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,” he said.
“The crew were serving us breakfast when the aircraft began to shake. We didn’t know what was going on and we panicked. Then the oxygen masks dropped... We experienced a few seconds of free fall before it stabilised again,” an unnamed passenger told the government-run China News Service.
“I’m still nervous. I don’t dare to take an airplane anymore. But I’m also happy I had a narrow escape.”