Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

'Heroic' captain makes emergency landing after aircraft windshield breaks at 32000 feet

'Heroic' captain makes emergency landing after aircraft windshield breaks at 32000 feet

The Sichuan Airlines flight was cruising at 32,000ft when the windshield blew out.

Last month, an Air India flight from Amristar to New Delhi with over 240 passengers experienced turbulence leaving at least three people with minor injuries and causing a window panel inside the aircraft to break away.

Workers inspect a Sichuan Airlines aircraft that made an emergency landing after a windshield in the cockpit broke off at an airport in Chengdu, China, May 14, 2018.

During landing the aircraft suffered tyre bursts, but came to stop without any further events.

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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.

Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633 had taken off as scheduled from southern China's Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport at 6:26 am and was due in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, at 9:05 am. On 7 May, a JetBlue Airlines flight had to perform an emergency landing after the aircraft's windscreen shattered mid-flight, while a Lufthansa flight made an emergency call before landing in Dublin on 23 April after its cockpit windshield cracked. At the front of the plane, the pilot was fighting for the life of his colleague - who at that point had been nearly entirely sucked out of the plane and was only being held back by his seat belt.

Everything in the cockpit was floating in the air. The plane was carrying 119 passengers, all of whom escaped unhurt.

"Everything was flying about in the cockpit, a lot of equipment was working badly and the noise was so loud that you could not hear the radio anymore". The flight was diverted to the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.

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The plane was vibrating strongly and it was impossible to read the instruments, said Mr Liu, who was hailed as a hero on social media.

Liu later said the accident reminded him of a similar incident with British Airways in 1990, when a windshield separated from its frame, and the captain was sucked out of the plane. A female flight attendant was slightly injured during the landing.

However, passengers and crew described frightening scenes on board the plane during the incident.

They added: "I'm still nervous".

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