Officials said the incident happened Monday when the windshield shattered on Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633. Some 27 received medical check-ups at a hospital in Chengdu, where the plane made its emergency landing, according to the South China Morning Post.
Captain Liu Chuanjian said the Airbus A319 had been cruising mid-air when a deafening sound flooded the cockpit.
"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", Mr Liu told the Chengdu Business Daily. "The next thing I know, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out of the window", he told the media outlet.
The co-pilot, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pulled back in by his fellow crew members, and suffered only scratches and a sprained wrist, the Civil Aviation Administration of China confirmed. "The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges", Liu added. None of the plane's 119 passengers were injured and the aircraft safely landed at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China.
The pilot managed an emergency landing despite the window being gone.
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Sichuan Airlines, a regional company based in Chengdu, offers flights to domestic regions in China and various other worldwide locations, including Japan, Canada and the Czech Republic. "I couldn't hear the radio".
"It is a huge challenge facing decompression and low temperatures", said the Air China pilot.
Mobile phone footage emerged online showing flight attendants asking passengers to wear oxygen masks and put on safety belts. Back on April 17, a Southwest flight over the USA experienced a passenger cabin window getting blown out and a passenger was partially sucked out of the aircraft through that hole.
Passengers described a loud bang, and said they felt the plane go into free fall for a few seconds before it stabilized.
Airbus and France's BEA accident investigation agency are sending teams to China to investigate the incident. The airline did not immediately comment Tuesday about what led to the shattered windshield, but apologized and referred to the incident as "mechanical failures".