Investigation report released on Sichuan Airline’s mid-flight windshield blowout
People's Daily


Pictured is the plane with a missing windshield panel. (Photo: Sina Weibo)

The Civil Aviation Administration of China released an investigation report on Tuesday on the flight incident that occurred on May 14, 2018, in which Sichuan Airline flight 3U8633 was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its windshield panels blew out. 

The report pointed out that the most likely reason for this incident is that the plane's windshield seal had been damaged, causing external water vapor to enter. 

The insulator of the power supply wire was reduced after being soaked for a long time, leading to a continuous arc discharge in a humid environment, it said. 

The high temperature caused by the arc further ruptured the double-deck glass, which resulted in a differential pressure inside and outside the cockpit that finally caused the windshield to burst off the fuselage. 

The plane was carrying 119 passengers and was forced to make an emergency landing in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province on May 14, 2018. 

The captain managed to keep his cool as -40 C winds blasted through the plane's opening at around 9,750 meters altitude, and half of the co-pilot's body was sucked out of the broken cockpit window due to the sudden change in cabin pressure. 

All passengers onboard came out of the ordeal unscathed and the pilot was not visibly injured. The co-pilot and a flight attendant were treated for minor injuries.

Miraculously, the plane landed safely, earning praises in China for the flight crew after the incident was reported. 

The pilot's heroic act was even portrayed in the movie "The Captain", a Chinese version of the US film "Sully", and took in around 18 million yuan ($2.6 million) at the box office.