Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

China Focus: Inflight miracle: A Chinese plane's forced diversion

China Focus: Inflight miracle: A Chinese plane's forced diversion

A pilot has been hailed a hero for making a successful emergency landing after his co-pilot was partially sucked through their broken cockpit window of a passenger plane.

The incident bears some similarities Southwest Airlines flight that made an emergency landing after the engine exploded and shattered a window - partially sucking out passenger Jennifer Riordan.

He told the Chengdu Economic Daily that the Airbus A319 had just reached a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet when a deafening sound tore through the cabin.

In an interview with the Chengdu Business News, Captain Liu Chuanjian explained that after he heard the windshield crack, he turned to his co-pilot to see "half his body suspended out of the window".

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Liu managed to pull his co-pilot back into the cockpit, according to his own account. The co-pilot suffered scratches and a sprained wrist, but survived thanks to his seatbelt, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. "The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges". None of the plane's 119 passengers were injured and the aircraft safely landed at the Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China. Other crew members also got hurt when the plane made its landing.

The harrowing incident comes almost a month after a woman on a Southwest Airlines flight from NY died after shrapnel from a blown engine smashed her window, forcing out part of her body. More than 50 took a later flight, arriving in Lhasa by the afternoon.

"The windshield just cracked and made a loud bang".

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

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But in mid-April, a female passenger died after being partially sucked out of a Southwest Airlines flight in the United States when one of the aircraft's engines exploded. A quick-thinking flight attendant grabbed Lancaster's legs as he was flying out the window and held on.

"Then the oxygen masks dropped".

The CAA said the windshield showed no signs of malfunction that required any maintenance prior to the incident.

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

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Sichuan Airlines confirmed the diversion, and said that an investigation is under way.

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