The remaining passengers were told to take another flight at 11.50am to fly to Lhasa Gonggar Airport. Radio contact was impossible, because of noise, so the crew adjusted the transponder to 7700 [the emergency code].
Here is rendering of the BA aircraft that had a similar accident on June 10, 1990.
An investigation into the incident on the Airbus A319 jet is underway.
The plane landed in Chengdu at 7:42 a.m. on Monday.
With two high-profile instances of cracked windows on planes in a month, how does this happen, how frequently do windshields shatter, and what is the protocol for pilots in these emergency incidents?
According to Reuters, the cockpit experienced a sudden loss of pressure and drop in temperature just as the plane reached its cruising altitude of 32,000 feet. At the front of the plane, the pilot was fighting for the life of his colleague - who at that point had been nearly entirely sucked out of the plane and was only being held back by his seat belt. Liu said that the emergency landing was extremely hard because of the noise, flying debris, and inability to see much more than a few feet ahead of the aircraft.
Still, the incident caused unrest among many onboard at the time. To avoid further damage, he manually slowed the plane, as the auto-pilot system was not operational. "Give the pilot a raise!" another user commented below the Sichuan Airline post. On May 3, another Southwest Airlines flight made an emergency landing after a cabin window pane cracked in flight.
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"It happened as the flight attendants were serving us meals".
"The oxygen masks on the plane all dropped out".
"There were people screaming, bags dropping from the overhead cabin and lunch boxes scattering along the corridor".
"It was her first ever flight, and she never expected anything like this", Zeng said.
All passengers were reported to be safe. "It felt like we descended several thousand meters in several seconds, and the baggage was tossed around in the cabin".
By Tuesday afternoon, more than 160 million people had viewed or participated in discussions about the pilot on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. "You performed a miracle!" When he looked up, he saw his co-pilots windshield was shattered and that the co-pilot himself was on the verge of being blasted out of the aircraft, only able to pull himself back in because he was wearing a seatbelt.