If you’re already a nervous flier, then you may want to avert your eyes from this unbelievable tale of a pilot who was nearly sucked out of an airplane window.
Liu Chuanjian, the co-pilot of a Sichuan Airlines flight out of China, was recently forced to become an action star when a windshield in the cockpit shattered and the air pressure pulled his fellow co-pilot halfway out of the window.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 15, 2018
Flight 3U8633 was making its way from the Chinese province of Chongqing to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.
About 32,000 feet into the flight’s ascent, one of the cockpit’s windshield’s cracked and promptly broke. The passengers experienced several seconds of free-fall as Chuanjian rescued his co-pilot (who was, fortunately, wearing a seatbelt).
Sichuan 3U8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa diverted to Chengdu. Lost one windshield at FL332. Descend to FL240 due to high terrain (@flightradar24 data). Cabin decomp. FCU failure and some parts sucked out. Landded safely with bust tires. One pilot and one cabin crew injured. pic.twitter.com/8aViRZoOE0
— ChinaAviationReview (@ChinaAvReview) May 14, 2018
“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 told the Chengdu Economic Daily. “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.”
The crew is so great. pic.twitter.com/eoLOX1nT8t
— 文华dev (@march1993) May 14, 2018
The co-pilot survived, suffering only a few scratches and a sprained wrist. One other crew member was injured, but the 119 passengers on board managed to escape unscathed.
Chuanjian managed to make an emergency landing in Chengdu, and is now being hailed as a hero.
However, while everyone on board may have survived this harrowing emergency, it’s unlikely that these passengers will be taking to the friendly skies again anytime soon.
“I’m still nervous,” one anonymous passenger reportedly said. “I don’t dare to take an airplane anymore. But I’m also happy I had a narrow escape.”