Plane Lands Safely in China After It Loses Its Windshield
By Faith Magbanua, May 17, 2018 21:05 PM
A Chinese airplane made an emergency landing on Monday, May 14, 2018 after its front window broke and at the same time, pulling one of the pilots outside the plane.
The Sichuan Airlines passenger flight took off from Chongqing, in southwest China and was traveling to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa when disaster struck.
According to reports, the plane was flying at a height of about 9,700 meters when an extremely loud sound was heard in the cockpit.
The cockpit experienced a sudden loss of air pressure and drop in temperature. When he looked over, pilot Liu Chuanjian saw the cockpit's right window was gone.
Liu was reported as saying, "The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window."
The co-pilot was wearing his seatbelt. He was able to be pulled back inside the plane. However, the co-pilot had suffered minor injuries. One other employee was injured in the incident.
Liu took control. He had to land the plane manually because the automatic flight-control system stopped working. He safely landed the plane in Chengdu. None of the plane's 119 passengers were hurt, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.
One unnamed passenger told the government-run China News Service that airline workers had been serving passengers food when the plane began to shake. Oxygen masks dropped. The plane dropped for a few seconds before it "stabilized again."
The passenger said, "I'm still nervous. I don't dare to take an airplane anymore. But I'm also happy I had a narrow escape."
The incident was a trending discussion Tuesday in China and around the world. Many are praising Liu for being able to land the plane. On the Chinese site Sina Weibo, users are writing messages with the hashtag #ChinaHeroPilot.
The Sichuan Airlines incident comes a month after an American passenger on a Southwest Airlines plane was partly sucked out after a window broke mid-flight. The passenger, Jennifer Riordan, later died.
Incidents involving partly broken windshields are somewhat common with airline travel. They are usually caused by a bird or lightning striking the window. However, it is rare for an entire windshield to come off.
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