Chengdu, China: Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633 was forced to make an emergency landing at China’s Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on Monday after one of the airplane’s cockpit windows fell off mid-flight.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China’s Southwest Regional Administration (CAAC) stated that one of the pilots suffered scratches and waist pains, though no passengers were injured in the incident, . A flight attendant also received a minor injury during the accident.
The domestic flight, which was traveling from Chongqing to Lhasa, landed at the Chengdu Shuangliu airport roughly 20 minutes after the window broke.
Pilot Liu Chuanjian said that seconds after the malfunction, his fellow pilot started to get sucked out of the window, along with parts of the plane’s control unit.
The plane descended from 32,000 feet to 24,000 feet before Liu was able to regain his composure and maneuver the plane.
With the plane’s autopilot system down, Liu added that he had no other choice than to fly the craft manually and that he felt confident in doing so because he has “flown this route 100 times and knows everything very well.”
Sichuan Airlines stated that the flight had experienced a “mechanical failure” and that passengers were later put on another flight to Lhasa. The airline did not offer any further details on the incident.
Preliminary findings indicate pilots received a failure message on the plane’s control unit regarding the windshield moments before disaster struck, the Aviation Herald reported. Officials with the CAAC are still investigating.
This incident comes weeks after a Southwest Airlines plane made an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio, after a passenger alerted flight staff of a cracked window.
Southwest Airlines in a statement said one of its aircraft flying 76 people from Chicago’s Midway Airport to Newark, New Jersey had to make an emergency landing in Cleveland to review damage to a window pane.
The aircraft has been taken out of service and Southwest employees transferred the 76 customers to a new aircraft to Newark, the airline said.
Last month one person was killed after a Southwest jet made an emergency landing following an engine failure.