"Hero" pilot lands plane after co-pilot partially sucked out of cockpit window

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As pilot Liu Chuanjian flew over Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Monday, the righthand side cockpit window broke, and his co-pilot was nearly sucked out. Pilot Liu Chuanjian diverted the flight and landed it in Chengdu.

Captain Liu Chuanjian told Chinese media that the plane - en route from Chongqing in southwestern China to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa - had just reached a cruising altitude of 32,000ft when the cockpit's right window broke, creating a "deafening sound".

"The windshield burst suddenly and a loud noise was heard, and when I looked to the side, I saw that the co-pilot was already halfway out of the window", Mr Liu told the Chengdu Business Daily. "The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window", he was quoted as saying. 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.

This photo taken on May 14, 2018 shows employees checking a Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 after an emergency landing, as a broken cockpit window (L) is covered, in Chengdu in China's northwestern Sichuan province. Cabin crew held on to his legs while the other pilot made an emergency landing.

There has been no information given as to what caused the windshield to break off. Sichuan Airlines said the flight had experienced a "mechanical failure" without providing any further details.

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"The plane was nearing mountainous areas, which makes it more hard to descend", said another pilot with Sichuan Airlines. "I couldn't hear the radio". "The oxygen masks dropped ..." Back on April 17, a Southwest flight over the US experienced a passenger cabin window getting blown out and a passenger was partially sucked out of the aircraft through that hole. Suddenly the windshield just cracked and made a loud bang.

The most popular chat forum on the incident was titled "My Hero Captain".

CAAC also said that the windshield was part of the original aircraft and had no previously recorded faults.

An investigation into how the incident occurred has now been launched.

Fox News said that the Sichuan Airlines incident is the sixth time in one month where there have been airline window problems.

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