"Upon the request of the aviation authorities in China and the European Union (CAAC and BEA), Airbus has assigned a dedicated technical team to provide any necessary support to the investigation led by CAAC", an Airbus spokesman said. 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.
Passengers from the flight recounted the frightening experience after the plane, diverted from Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, to make an emergency landing at Shuangliu International Airport.
But "everything in the cockpit was floating in the air". "I couldn't hear the radio".
"All of the objects in the cockpit just dropped to the floor suddenly, and the operating equipment began to malfunction", Liu said.
According to Sichuan Airlines, the co-pilot sustained scratches on the face and minor injuries on the waist, one female passenger had minor injuries on the waist. With the sudden fault, the flight made its emergency landing in the southwest city of Chengdu. Within 20 minutes at around 7:46am, the captain safely landed the plane at the airport.
A video shows oxygen masks deployed, and flight attendants walking up and down the aisle to give passengers instructions on how to disembark.
A Chinese pilot safely landed an Airbus passenger plane after a window blew out at 32,000ft, partly pulling his co-pilot from the cockpit and instantly dropping the temperature below freezing.
Sichuan Airlines issued a statement via Chinese social media citing "mechanical failure", as a possible cause. "I wanted to control the plane and land", he later told Sichuan Television. It departed Chongqing at 6:27am and was due to arrive in Lhasa at 9:27:am.
Liu said he has flown the route 100 times, and is familiar with many different flight situations.
"The oxygen masks on the plane all dropped out".
A member of the cabin crew was injured in the descent, but no passengers were hurt.
In recent weeks, window-related accidents on planes have resulted in one death and four other emergency landings.
Zhang Wei, a council member of the Chinese Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said the broken windshield could have damaged the aircraft's structure, causing it to be unable to fly or causing more serious problems if it does.