Chinese Airline Pilot Sucked Out Of Cockpit At 30,000 Feet
It seems we have more and more stories about disruptive or even life-threatening commercial flights. The news trend is likely just a refocus on salaciousness targetting airline travel because that news sells. But that doesn’t make some of it any less unsettling.
Take, for example, an airline pilot being sucked partially out of the cockpit’s window of a flight. For those potentially unaware of the pilot’s role in the flying experience, he or she is responsible for flying the plane. In order to fly the plane, they need to not be sucked out of the window.
Captain Liu Chuanjian of Sichuan Airlines says his copilot was sucked halfway out of the flight they were commandeering after the windshield broke out. The Airbus A319, which was on route to Tibet, suffered the windshield break at 30,000 feet high.
“The situation was very critical. The windshield was blown off at a 10,000-meter-high altitude. The aircraft was in a state of low pressure and a temperature was minus 30 to minus 40 degree celsius,” Jiang Wenxue, a Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) official, told a Chinese news agency, Xinhua, according to Fox 61.
The details of the story are like a gentle blend between the 1980’s comedy, Airplane, and any Nicholas Cage film, and Old Yeller (yes, because pilots being sucked out of their pilot seats at 30,000 feet above air should make you cry).
“When I looked at the other side, the co-pilot was partially blown out of the aircraft. Luckily, he had the belt buckled up. Many devices were malfunctioned and the plane was jolting strongly. It was very difficult to control,” he added.
Miraculously, the copilot walked away with minor wrist scratches. A flight attendant was said to have suffered a minor injury as well. The plane was safely brought down at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport and all the passengers were just fine. Passengers were reportedly screaming and shouting, which is an understandable reaction to seeing the person who should be flying your plane being sucked out into space. The flight attendents were in the midst of providing meals to passengers when the mayhem began. The food was tossed around the cabin. No word on whether or not the pilots activated the buckle seat belt status.
No one knows why the windshield shattered, but an investigation is underway. The pilot is being described as a hero for saving the copilot and getting the plane safely on the ground. The meals were ruined, though.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.