CHINA (CBSDFW.COM/CBSNEWS.COM) – A pilot made an emergency landing in southwest China after a broken cockpit window sucked his co-pilot halfway out of the aircraft. The pilot was hailed as a hero on Tuesday by astonished citizens.
Liu Chuanjian braved the intense cold and blasting wind to slow the flight, Sichuan Airlines 3U8633, from its original speed of about 500-560 mph to land in about 20 minutes.
All 128 people aboard the Airbus A319 survived the ordeal.
It was just last month when one of the engines on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 exploded while the plane was traveling 500 mph at 30,000 feet. Passengers on that flight scrambled to prevent businesswoman Jennifer Riordan from getting sucked out a window that had been smashed by debris, but she later died from her injuries.
The plane in China was bound for Lhasa in Tibet from the southwestern city of Chongqing when the cockpit window shattered at about 32,000 feet. The flight was diverted to the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.
“The windshield burst suddenly and a loud noise was heard, and when I looked to the side, I saw that the co-pilot was already halfway out of the window. Luckily his seatbelt was tied,” Liu told the Chengdu Business Daily.