Pilot 'sucked halfway' out as plane windscreen breaks

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A flight out of China made an emergency landing after a copilot was sucked halfway out of the aircraft's cockpit.

The Sichuan Airlines plane, 3U8633, was scheduled to fly from Chongqing to Lhasa.

An emergency landing had to be made in southwest China earlier this week after a broken cockpit window almost resulted in a copilot being sucked out of an airplane. When the pilot, identified as Liu Chuanjian, looked over to the right, the windshield was gone. "The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window", the pilot said.

The only injuries reported were to the co-pilot, who suffered a sprained wrist and facial cuts, and another crew member, who was slightly hurt as the plane dropped, Chinese aviation officials said. None of the plane's 119 passengers were injured and the aircraft safely landed at the Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China.

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.

It was no easy task bringing the plane in for an emergency landing as it was "jolting strongly", making the aircraft hard to control.

According to Sichuan Airlines, the co-pilot sustained scratches on the face and minor injuries on the waist; one female passenger also had minor injuries on the waist. Many devices were malfunctioning and the plane was jolting strongly.

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By Tuesday afternoon, more than 160 million people had viewed or participated in discussions about the pilot on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

Mobile phone footage emerged online showing flight attendants asking passengers to wear oxygen masks and put on safety belts.

Passengers were being served their breakfast when the plane plunged suddenly to 24,000ft.

Passengers described a loud bang, and said they felt the plane go into free fall for a few seconds before it stabilized. "Just a huge noise", Capt. Liu said, according to state news agency China News Service. A quick-thinking flight attendant grabbed Lancaster's legs as he was flying out the window and held on.

The Wall Street Journal reports an Airbus team will help investigate the incident.

Mashable has reached out to Sichuan Airlines for comment.

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