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Chinese hail 'hero' pilot who landed with broken cockpit window

AFP  |  Beijing 

The who made an in after a broken window sucked his co-halfway out of the aircraft was hailed as a "hero" on today by astonished citizens.

braved the intense cold and blasting wind to slow the airliner from its original speed of about 800-900 kph (500-560 mph) to land in about 20 minutes.

All 128 people aboard the of Airlines survived the ordeal.

The plane was bound for Lhasa in from the southwestern city of when the window shattered at about 9,800 metres (32,000 feet). The flight was diverted to the city of in province.

"The windshield burst suddenly and a loud noise was heard, and when I looked to the side, I saw that the co-was already halfway out of the window. Luckily his seatbelt was tied," Liu told Business Daily.

The plane was vibrating strongly and it was impossible to read the instruments, said Liu, who was a former flight instructor in the "I didn't think about anything at all. I wanted to control the plane and land," he later told Television.

By Tuesday afternoon, more than 160 million people had viewed or participated in discussions about the pilot on the Twitter-like microblogging platform

The most popular chat forum on the incident was titled, "My Hero Captain". "This is a miracle in the history of Chinese aviation, and shows the special psychological mindset of flight instructors," one commenter wrote.

"Having watched the American film, 'Sully', based on real events, this is even more shocking and exciting!" another commenter said.

He was referring to Chesley Sullenberger, a pilot who was hailed as a national hero in January 2009 after he managed to save the lives of 155 passengers and crew by landing his stricken airliner in New York's The of the Civil Administration of said at a press conference on Tuesday that the plane "shed its right windshield" as it was flying over

"The windshield has not recorded any failures, nor did it require any maintenance and replacement work" before the incident, Tang Weibin said.

The cause of the incident was still under investigation, he added.

A video published online by shows oxygen masks deployed, and flight attendants walking up and down the aisle to give passengers instructions on how to disembark.

It was the second in in less than a month.

On April 15, an flight was diverted after a man briefly took hostage a crew member he was threatening with a fountain pen.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 17:00 IST