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