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15 May 2018, 11:21 | Devin Moran
Pilot 'sucked halfway out' of plane after windshield broke at 32000 feet – how often does this happen?
The flight was 30 minutes in the air when its front right windshield became detached, opening the cockpit to the atmosphere outside.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China is investigating the Monday incident and will focus on the design and manufacturing of the windshield, the regulator's safety chief Tang Weibin said in Beijing Tuesday.
A pilot who survived the accident and hailed hero on social media Captain Liu Chuanjian said that the flight was at an altitude of 32,000 feet when there was a deafening sound that tore the cockpit. Fortunately, the pilots of 3U8633 had their seatbelts fastened.
'Everything in the cockpit was floating in the air.
Mr Liu had to land the Airbus A319 immediately, a task made more hard because the instruments malfunctioned and it was too loud to use the radio.
He recalled grabbing one of the oxygen masks that fell from overhead as a flight attendant began telling passengers to trust in the flight team. "We just tried our best to reassure the passengers and make everyone believe us that we could touch down safely", a flight attendant said.
The airline added that it has switched the flight's passengers to another aircraft to carry on their journey to Lhasa.
Sichuan Airlines is a regional airline based in Chengdu; it mainly operates domestic flights, but also has worldwide routes to Canada, Japan and the Czech Republic. "I wanted to control the plane and land", he later told Sichuan Television.
Here are the pics of the horrifying incident where the pilots and travellers had a lucky escape as the cockpit windshield smashed!
After landing, most passengers were transferred to another flight to Lhasa, but 29 passengers were sent to the hospital, one with a sprain and another with bruising, China Central TV reported. The aircraft reportedly was carrying 119 passengers. "The oxygen masks dropped". No details have yet been released as to why the windshield broke. Other crew members also got hurt when the plane made its landing.
The aircraft entered service on July 26, 2011 and up to May 14, 2018 had flown 19,912.25 hr. and 12,920 cycles, Sichuan Airlines said.
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