World News

Pilot 'sucked halfway out' of cockpit window mid-flight

Pilot 'sucked halfway out' of cockpit window mid-flight

"When I looked over, the co-pilot's body's was hanging halfway out of the window".

The explosive decompression blew off the cockpit's right windshield and dragged the co-pilot headfirst towards the window. Suddenly, the windshield just cracked and made a loud bang.

The plane eventually made an emergency landing in Chengdu and there were no fatalities, the regulator said without elaborating on the number of passengers on board. He said anything that was not screwed down was "floating in the air".

The Captain requested an emergency landing and diverted to Chengdu in southern China where he landed the aircraft safely.

"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 co-pilot, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pulled back in by his fellow crew members, and suffered only scratches and a sprained wrist, the Civil Aviation Administration of China confirmed. Operated by Sichuan Airlines, the flight was en route from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality to Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. Liu said that the emergency landing was extremely hard because of the noise, flying debris, and inability to see much more than a few feet ahead of the aircraft.

The plane was vibrating strongly and it was impossible to read the instruments, said Liu, who was a former flight instructor in the Chinese air force.

According to data from Flightradar24, Flight 3U8633 departed Chongqing at approximately 6.30am on Monday morning.

The cabin crew had been handing out breakfast to passengers when the plane pitched forward. "We experienced a few seconds of free fall before it stabilised again", an unnamed passenger told China News Service.

While authorities continue to investigate the accident, Sichuan Airlines noted that the flight had experienced a "mechanical failure".

Incidents involving cracked windshields do happen on a regular basis due to occurrences such as bird or lightning strikes but ones involving entire windshields coming off are rare. He survived the incident, which occurred on a BAC-111 jet.