Pilot 'sucked halfway out' after cockpit windshield shatters

A pilot was partially sucked out of a plane cockpit windshield in China.
A pilot was partially sucked out of a plane cockpit windshield in China. Photo credit: iStock

The co-pilot of a Chinese airline plane was partially sucked out the cockpit windshield after it blew out at 32,000 feet.

The Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 left Chongqing on Monday morning and had just reached cruising altitude when disaster struck.

Captain Liu Chuanjian told the Chengdu Economic Daily that everything seemed normal before the air pressure and temperature in the cockpit rapidly dropped.

"There was no warning sign. Suddenly the windshield just cracked and made a loud bang. The next thing I know my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window."

He went on to describe the terrifying chaos that followed.

"Everything in the cockpit was floating in the air. Most of the equipment malfunctioned - and I couldn't hear the radio. The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges."

The co-pilot was fortunately wearing a seatbelt and was pulled back in to safety, with only scratches and a sprained wrist.

Mr Liu was forced into manually making an emergency landing in the city of Chengdu.

An anonymous passenger on the flight told China News Service that the experience has made him afraid of ever taking another plane again.

"We didn't know what was going on and we panicked. Then the oxygen masks dropped - we experienced a few seconds of free fall before it stabilised again."

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has said that one other cabin crew member was injured during the plane's emergency landing.

In April a woman died after being partially sucked through a broken plane window on a flight bound for Dallas.