CAAC investigation: Shattered cockpit windshield had never failed before

Updated 2018-05-16 14:16:05

A cockpit windscreen of a Sichuan Airlines jet was ripped out at 32,000ft on Monday. /CCTV Photo

The shattered cockpit windshield was an import and had no record of failure, maintenance or replacement, said the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon about the preliminary investigation into the Sichuan Airlines incident.

Flight 3U8633, which took off from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Monday, was forced to make an emergency landing in Chengdu before it could arrive at its destination in Lhasa City in the Tibet Autonomous Region when the windshield broke mid-flight.

An investigation team was soon set up and started their work on Monday morning.

The initial investigation showed that the incident was caused by the shattered cockpit windshield which led to the decompression and sharp descent of the aircraft.

"According to the current investigation, the cockpit windshield at the front-right side had peeled off, and one third of the flight control unit at the right side also fell off," said Zeng Fan'ge, deputy director of the Aviation Safety Management Office of the CAAC Southwest Regional Administration.

The aircraft, with its number of A319/B-6419, was built by the European planemaker Airbus, and commissioned to the Sichuan Airlines on July 26, 2011.

Airbus has sent a technical team to provide support for the investigation.

The pilots and crew were praised by their heroics and professionalism. "The measures taken by the crew during the whole incident were quick and effective, ensuring a successful landing in Chengdu," said Zeng.

Potential causes for the shattered windshield

There are several potential reasons that may have led to the windshield breaking, said Zhang Qihuan, a researcher from the Institute of Air & Space Law of China's University of Political Science and Law.

The first might be the collision with an external object, like a bird. The second could be a malfunction with the windshield's anti-icing system. An inspection not comprehensive enough to detect any cracks in the glass could be the third cause. And the fourth may be the quality of the glass itself, Zhang said.

The investigation is still underway.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58May 26 2018 14:06:07

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16May 26 2018 14:06:07

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18May 26 2018 14:06:07

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords