Co-Pilot Sucked Halfway Out of Broken Cockpit Window, Survives

Fortunately he was wearing his seat belt.

sichuan airlines broken cockpit
Getty ImagesVisual China Group

A co-pilot on a regional Chinese flight found himself in a horrifying position. He was sucked halfway out of the airplane's rapidly depressurizing cockpit. Fortunately he survived mostly unharmed.

As reported by , Captain Liu Chuanjian and the rest of the Airbus A319 were flying from the southern city of Chongqing to Tibet's capital, Lhasa.

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During the flight, right as the airplane had hit its cruising altitude of 32,000 feet, a blisteringly loud noise deafened the pilots. Chuanjian noticed a sudden loss of pressure and rapid drop in temperature. When he looked over to co-pilot Xu Ruichen to discuss the situation, Ruichen was gone.

“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. 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, ” Reuters Chuanjian as saying.

Ruichen's seatbelt kept him alive. He escaped with only a sprained back and is in good condition. A flight attendant suffered minor injuries, but otherwise the crew of 119 was shook up but fine.

An investigation into the plane's window breaking is ongoing.

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