Monday, 14 May 2018

Sichuan Airlines cockpit window shatters mid-flight

Drama in the skies over China today when one fo the cockpit windows cracked at 32,000 feet on a Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319.  

The aircraft was operating flight 3U8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa. It departed Chongqing at 6.27am and was due to arrive in Lhasa at 9.27 am, however an hour into the flight one of the cockpit's windows cracked and then, according to local media, shattered. The aircraft was flying over  city of Chengdu att he time of the incident which caused the co-pilot to be partially sucked out of the aircraft. 

The pilot, Captain Liu Chuanjian, sent the electronic squark 7700 emergency code which alerted air traffic control facilities the aircraft was having difficulties. of the dangerous situation. Following the decompression of the aircraft, oxygen masks fell from the ceiling panels and the pilot made a steep emergency descent.  Social media posts from those on the flight show cabin crew asking passengers to don their masks as well as various bags, personal belongings and other in-flight debris scattered about the cabin.

The pilot diverted the aircraft to nearby Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu and made an emergency landing at approximately 7.46am, where the aircraft was met with a full array of emergency vehicles. 

Captain Liu Chuanjian said the temperature in the cockpit dropped minus 40 Celsius during the early part of the incident.  According to Sichuan Airlines, the co-pilot had sustained scratches on the face and minor injuries on the waist, one female passenger also suffered minor injuries and were taken to the local Chengdu hospital, along with a further 27 passengers who apparently felt unwell following the incident.

Sichuan Airlines have said the incident was the result of a mechanical failure and an investigation had been started. Airbus has said that would cooperate and support the investigation if it was asked to do so.