Airbus A319 Windshield Burst With Glass Hitting the Co-Pilot Today

A Sichuan Airlines Airbus Airbus A319 was flying from Chongquing to Lhasa in China on Monday when they lost part of the windshield in the cockpit.

Flight 3U-8633 was enroute at about 32,000 feet west of Chengdu when the right windshield burst with glass hitting the co-pilot. Oxygen masks in the cabin were released. The autopilot was damaged.

Credit: Chengdu Economic Daily

The plane dropped 8000 feet in a matter of minutes, which I believe was an emergency descent down to the minimum altitude that’s still safe to fly above the mountains. In addition to the first officer, a member of the crew member was injured. The 119 passengers onboard were unharmed.

Here’s the plane on the ground missing a windshield:

Credit: Chengdu Economic Daily

Since the airline is based in Chengdu they were able to put passengers on another aircraft to continue to Tibet.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “The autopilot was damaged.”

    Oh yeah, it’ll be some kind of technical fault due to the dramatic change in pressure, or somethi…


    Holy crap.

  2. I wonder what caused it. Windshields are strong as they are designed to withstand large bird strikes at high speed. In fact, I did a tour of Lockheed years ago, and they showed me movie of a chicken cannon (ie large-diameter, compressed-air cannon) testing aircraft windshields. They told me that they used live chickens, rather then dead ones, because live birds have different viscosity than dead ones. The chicken were drugged to be more humane.

  3. Highly informative facts mostly unpublished by the industry and the suffered passengers! Thank you..,

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