Sichuan A319 loses cockpit windshield mid-flight

A Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 passenger jet was diverted to Chengdu on Tuesday, after losing one of the cockpit windshield while flying at 33,200 ft (FL332) altitude, at speeds of around 450 knots.

The windshield separation caused rapid cabin decompression damaging cockpit avionics and injuring one of the pilot possibly the first officer.

The right side portion of the glareshield instrument panel was sucked out of the aircraft through the windscreen hole, crippling the Flight Control Unit (FCU), forcing the crew to fly the aircraft manually.

Civil Aviation Administration of China said the windshield was an original part of the aircraft which entered service in July 2011, and did not undergo any maintenance or repair.

The incident happened close to the Chengdu Airport, where the flight carried out a emergency landing after around 45 minutes from the incident.

During landing the aircraft suffered tyre bursts, but came to stop without any further events.

No passengers were injured in the incident but a cabin crew was injured during the descent.

The flight, Sichuan Airlines 3U8633, took off from Chongqing on Monday morning and was bound for the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

Airbus said the aircraft, MSN4660 registered B-6419, was built in 2011 and had accumulated 19,942 flight hours to date.