Published on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Co-pilot sucked halfway out of cockpit window

In an incident echoing the deadly Southwest Airlines accident last month, a Chinese airline pilot was partially sucked out of a plane after a cockpit window shattered.

The Sichuan Airlines flight en route to Lhasa, Tibet was forced to divert at 32,000 feet and make an emergency landing in Chengdu.

The windshield 'shattered with a loud sound' said pilot, Liu Chuanjian in a video post.

"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."

Fortunately, he was wearing a seatbelt," he said.

He went on to describe the drama.

"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 was pulled back safely and suffered only scratches, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.

The plane was carrying 119 passengers, of which 29 were taken to hospital for evaluation.

All were later discharged although one cabin crew member suffered a minor injury.

One passenger told local media: "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."

The pilots have been praised by Chinese netizens and the media for calmly steering the plane to safety and a smooth landing.

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