The cockpit was in chaos. None of the plane's 119 passengers was injured.
While not quite a common occurrence, this is not the first time a pilot has been sucked out of a cockpit window. "Fortunately his seat belt was fastened", Liu said.
The ordeal occurred on a Sichuan Airlines flight that took place on Monday. No one was killed.
The plane was carrying over 120 passengers on the plane during the incident. The pilot made a white-knuckle descent to Chengdu, China as the co-pilot was almost sucked out of the plane, saved only by his seatbelt.
Reports from the Chengdu Daily and elsewhere tell us that the disintegrating window injured the co-pilot and a member of cabin crew, de-pressurised the plane and led to the captain quickly descending.
The incident comes just weeks after a woman died on a Southwest Airlines flight from NY to Dallas when part of the engine broke off, shattered a window and almost sucked her out. None of them appeared seriously hurt, the airline said, adding that it had arranged for special personnel to accompany the travelers.
A Sichuan Airlines co-pilot was "sucked halfway out" of a plane when the front windshield blew out Tuesday.
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During a press conference, the captain thanked his flight crew for helping him deal with the emergency calmly and successfully.
Flight 3U8633 departed Chongqing, China and was heading to Lhasa, Tibet, when Liu noticed a loud noise inside the cabin. All the cockpit items were flying. Most of the equipment malfunctioned - and I couldn't hear the radio.
A passenger described the panic in the cabin to the China News Service. "The entire aircraft was vibrating - it was impossible to see the instruments and it was hard to operate". He says he felt the cold air and saw how the cockpit door opened. When all was said and done, the emergency landing was successful and other than the attendant and co-pilot with minor injuries, everyone else was shaken, but fine.
"This is a rare incident in civil aviation history, something that a pilot "wouldn't even think of during training".
"It took exquisite technical flying skill to turn the tide". "Give the pilot a raise!" another user commented below the Sichuan Airline post. "The aviation maintenance industry pays well, shouldn't there be some accountability?"
"When I looked to the side, the copilot's body had already flown out halfway out of the window".
"From an initial investigation, this incident entailed a loss of pressurization due to a burst windscreen, normal handling of the situation by the crew according to requirements, and a safe alternate landing at Chengdu".