Yesterday, we reported on a startling incident: a Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 lost its entire cockpit windscreen at 32,000 feet, forcing it to make an emergency landing in the city of Chengdu.
Originally the airline reported that all 119 passengers were fine, one flight attendant was “slightly” injured and that a co-pilot suffered a “serious” injury to his ear from the broken window but the extent of his injuries were unknown.
Now, the captain of that flight, Liu Chanjian, is reporting that the co-pilot was, in fact, partially sucked out of the cockpit window when the windscreen blew out.
Much like the pilot of the fatal Southwest flight that made its own emergency landing after it lost one of its windows, Chanjian is being hailed as a hero for landing the plane manually after the incident.
Chanjian went on to report that there was no warning before the malfunction. He simply felt a sudden loss of pressure and drop in temperature then looked over to see that the right windshield was gone and his co-pilot was in danger:
“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.”
“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.”
According to video footage taken by passengers, oxygen masks dropped in the cabin and a passenger reported feeling “weightless” for a few moments because of the speed of the plane’s descent.