Plane makes emergency landing after cockpit windshield gets ripped away

A SICHUAN Airlines flight made an emergency landing in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu on Monday after a windshield on the right side of the jet's cockpit broke off, China's aviation authority said.

No passengers were injured in the incident but the pilot sitting in the right seat, who is usually the first officer, suffered scratches and a waist sprain, the Civil Aviation Administration of China's (CAAC) Southwest Regional Administration said on its website.

A cabin crew member was also injured in the descent, it added, without providing details on what had caused the windshield to break off.

The flight, Sichuan Airlines 3U8633, left the central Chinese municipality of Chongqing on Monday morning and was bound for the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, the authority said.

According to flight tracking website FlightRadar24, the aircraft was an Airbus A319. A spokeswoman for Airbus said that the planemaker would provide all necessary support upon request by the CAAC and Sichuan Airlines.

Sichuan Airlines said on its official Weibo account that the flight had experienced a "mechanical failure" without providing further details. It said it had switched the flight's passengers to another aircraft to carry on their journey to Lhasa.

Pictures published by government-run Chengdu Economic Daily showed the plane missing one of its cockpit windows and damage to its cockpit controls. Chinese social media users praised the pilots for landing the flight safely without incurring any passenger injuries. — Reuters