World News

Co-pilot 'sucked halfway' out of plane after explosive decompression at 32000ft

Co-pilot 'sucked halfway' out of plane after explosive decompression at 32000ft

A Sichuan Airlines flight made an emergency landing in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu on Monday after a windshield on the right side of the jet's cockpit broke off, China's aviation authority said.

In a statement, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said that part of the cockpit window broke as the plane was flying over Chengdu and the cause of the incident was under investigation.

According to Sichuan Airlines, the co-pilot sustained scratches on the face and minor injuries on the waist; one female passenger also had minor injuries on the waist.

The windshield separation caused rapid cabin decompression damaging cockpit avionics and injuring one of the pilot possibly the first officer. "When I looked over, the co-pilot's body's was hanging halfway out of the window".

Despite these difficulties, the pilot - who was hailed as a hero on social media - managed to slow the aircraft from its original speed of about 800-900 kph and land in about 20 minutes after the plane was damaged.

Sichuan Airlines reported on its Weibo account that an aircraft had suffered a "mechanical failure".

According to data from Flightradar24, Flight 3U8633 departed Chongqing at approximately 6.30am on Monday morning.

The plane landed safely at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and no one was harmed.

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Images posted on the official People's Daily newspaper online appear to show a cockpit window completely missing.

"Suddenly, the windshield just cracked and made a loud bang", he reportedly said.

Pictures shared online show the co-pilot's side of the windshield gone and it emerged that he was nearly sucked out of the window by the sudden loss of pressure. Most of the equipment malfunctioned ... and I couldn't hear the radio. "The flight was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges", he said. He says he felt the cold air and saw how the cockpit door opened. After landing, several passengers were transported to nearby hospitals.

"The oxygen masks on the plane all dropped out".

Reports said the aircraft was an Airbus A319 and was cruising at 32,000 feet.

No passengers were injured in the incident but a cabin crew was injured during the descent.

In a separate incident in the U.S. same month, a mother was killed after a jet engine of Southwest airlines exploded during a flight.