A Sichuan Airlines co-pilot was “sucked halfway” out of the cockpit window when the windshield of the aircraft broke, Reuters reported, citing local media.
Captain Liu Chuanjian told the Chengdu Economic Daily that at more than 30,000 feet, he heard a loud noise in the cockpit.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 15, 2018
There was a drop in pressure and temperature when he noticed that the right windshield was gone.
“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,” Liu Chuanjian 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,” he added.
— Airways Magazine (@airwaysmagazine) May 14, 2018
The co-pilot suffered scratches and a sprained wrist, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. A flight attendant was also injured, but all 119 passengers on board were uninjured.
“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 stabilized again,” an unnamed passenger told the China News Service.
The captain was forced to make an emergency landing at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China instead of to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, the original destination of the flight.
The incident is currently under investigation.