Flying Sucks

Not long after a woman was killed by being partly sucked out of an aircraft window, it’s happened again, this time on a Sichuan Airlines craft. NBC reports:

BEIJING — The cockpit was in chaos.

About an hour into a Sichuan Airlines flight headed from southwestern China to Tibet on Monday morning, the pilot heard a piercing sound, and then the windshield inexplicably shattered. Captain Liu Chuanjian found himself in a turbulent struggle to maintain control of a plane full of 119 passengers.

He turned to his co-pilot only to see “half his body suspended out of the window,” he said. “Fortunately, he was wearing a seat belt.”

Liu described the terror at 30,000 feet during a taped interview with the Chengdu Business News, while Sichuan Airlines thanked him and the crew in a statement for their life-saving actions. No one was killed.

What in the heck is going on? Coincidence? The large number of flights makes incidents like this inevitable? Omni-present smartphones make covering stuff like this up impossible? They’re flying differently? Faulty maintenance? What?

3 comments… add one
  • steve Link
  • Probably as good an explanation as any.

  • Guarneri Link

    The causes were different, one a window structural failure, the other an engine fracture.

    On the second, the source of the failure may be traceable to a manufacturing defect, or not. (Recall the DC 10 over Iowa). In the absence of a very, very recent insult to the structural integrity of the turbine blades ( eg a bird or other object strike) the proximate cause will be subsequent inspection and maintenance. That shouldn’t happen, period full stop. If anyone is interested I can elaborate.

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