One pilot is being hailed as a hero after guiding his crew and passengers to safety in a terrifying incident.
Captain Liu Chuanjian made an emergency landing on Monday after windshield of his Sichuan Airlines plane shattered and his co-pilot was sucked halfway out of the window, according to CNN.
The terrifying event occurred at 30,000 feet during a flight from Chongqing to Lhasa, China. The co-pilot was pulled back in by his seatbelt, and only suffered a sprained wrist and some scratches. A flight attendant also sustained some injuries. He and Chuanjian reportedly remained calm as they landed the Airbus219 at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport.
“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,” Chuanjian said, Reuters reports.
Chuanjian adds, “Everything in the cockpit was floating in the air. Most of the equipment malfunctioned … and I couldn’t hear the radio.” ECNS.com details that he was also forced to keep his composure as the -40 C winds blasted through the cockpit, but completed the landing in about 20 minutes. Neither him nor the 119 passengers were harmed.
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The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is investigating the occurrence, and also reported that the windshield had no previous recorded faults, says Reuters.
“This incident that happened today is very rare,” Chuanjian was recorded saying by the Chengdu Economic Daily.
“The plane felt like it was free falling going down and we were probably going down for 10 or 15 minutes and of course, everyone is freaking out,” recalled passenger Marty Martinez. “Everyone is crying. It was the scariest experience.”
The news comes nearly a month after an engine exploded blowing out a window on a Southwest flight and resulting in the death of a woman who was nearly sucked out of the broken window.