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CAAC Briefs on Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633 Windscreen Crack in Air22/05/2018

On May 15, CAAC briefed on the Sichuan Airlines flight 3U8633 occurrence of shattered cockpit windscreen in air at routine news conference of May. According to Tang Weibin, CAAC Inspector General of Aviation Safety and Director General of Office of Aviation Safety, an investigation team of “5.14” occurrence has been established by CAAC, assigned to Chengdu on the day when the occurrence happened and will work together with CAAC Southwest Regional Administration to carry out investigation. As is known by far, the lost right cockpit windscreen was an original part with no record of malfunction and has never been through maintenance or replacement since the aircraft was put into operation on July 26, 2011.

On May 14, the Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 with registration mark B-6419 was operating flight 3U8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa. The flight took off at 6:27, then climbed to the cruising altitude of 9750 meters, and was passing Chengdu air traffic control area when the right windscreen in the cockpit suddenly burst and fell out, causing loss of pressure in the cabin and deployment of oxygen masks. After the occurrence, part of cockpit device was damaged, and the co-pilot and a crew member suffered minor injuries.

After the occurrence, the air crew immediately reported state of emergency to ATC unit, meanwhile checked aircraft and people on board, implemented emergency handling procedures, and decided to make emergency landing nearby at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport. Chengdu ATC, after receiving the emergency report, instantly launched emergency handling procedure, rapidly instructed other aircraft in flight to make way for 3U8633, assigned dedicated route and prioritized it for landing. With close cooperation among civil aviation entities, the flight successfully landed at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport, and all passengers on board were safe.

According to relevant provisions of Annex 13 Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation to the International Civil Aviation Convention, CAAC has already notified Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) and Airbus, and the French counterparts will send professional technicians to China to participate in investigation.

Currently, the occurrence is still under investigation.