Plane makes emergency landing after cockpit windshield gets ripped away

Pilot, 27, 'gets sucked out of a cockpit window at 32000ft' after windshield shattered on a 119-passenger plane

UPDATE 1-Sichuan Airlines co-pilot "sucked halfway" out of cockpit, captain says

Officials said the incident happened Monday when the windshield shattered on Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633. A cabin attendant was slightly hurt during the descent, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The co-pilot was cut on the face and suffered an injury to the lower back. "We just tried our best to reassure the passengers and make everyone believe us that we could touch down safely", Zhou Yanwen, the injured flight attendant, was quoted as saying by China News Service.

But "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. Along with the pilot, a cabin crew member of the airline also suffered injuries though the injuries are of minor nature.

The Sichuan Airlines flight departed from the central Chinese municipality of Chongqing at 6.30am on Monday morning, due to arrive in Lhasa, Tibet at 9.30am. One other cabin crew member was injured during the emergency landing, in Chengdu, Sichuan province, although no further details were given.

Liu Chuanjian braved the intense cold and blasting wind to coax the plane into a safe landing in southwest China.

'I couldn't hear the radio and the cockpit's temperature dropped to minus 40 degree Celsius, ' he said.

A pilot is being hailed as a hero after the cockpit windshield suddenly burst 32,000 feet in the air.

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Sichuan Airlines issued a statement via Chinese social media citing "mechanical failure", as a possible cause.

Local media quoted the pilot as saying the window suddenly broke when it was flying at an altitude of about 10,000 meters almost 30 minutes after takeoff. As for the 119 passengers, they were unharmed but describe a few seconds of free-fall as breakfast was being served, with the plane dropping to 24,000 feet, reports the BBC.

The Airbus A319 plane on the ground being checked at Chengdu Airport.

Cockpit windscreens do crack sometimes after things like bird strikes, but it's rare for a whole section to break.

A total of 59 passengers were told to take another flight at 11:50am to fly to Lhasa Gonggar Airport while the remaining travellers sought alternative transport, such as high-speed train.

The cause of the incident was under investigation, it said.

The pilot managed an emergency landing despite the window being gone.

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