Here is a thing to keep in mind if you are a bit of a nervous flyer: there are roughly 100,000 commercial plane flights flown every single day, and barely ever is anyone sucked out of a plane window. This important to remember if you feel like you are seeing a bunch of stories about people getting sucked out of airplane windows and you are worried it might colour your experience when getting into an aircraft.
It’s also important to note that, even in the incredibly unlikely event that this does happen, it’s not always fatal. While it might have been for the woman who died on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 in mid-April, the same was not true for the co-pilot of Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa on Monday, who was sucked out of the plane when the windscreen cracked. The man, who was wearing his seatbelt at the time, escaped with a sprained wrist and facial cuts, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
According to the BBC, the captain of the flight, Liu Chuanjian, has been hailed as a hero on Chinese social media, after he managed to bring the plane down safely despite the sudden depressurisation and free-fall descent that occurred immediately after the windscreen cracked. Chaunjian told the Chengdu Economic Daily that it happened out of nowhere:
There was no warning. The windshield just cracked and made a loud bang. The next thing I knew, my co-pilot had been sucked halfway out.
Luckily, the co-pilot was wearing a seatbelt. He was dragged back into the chaos of the cockpit, where pressure and temperature had dropped and the equipment was failing.
Everything in the cockpit was floating in the air. I couldn’t hear the radio. The plane was shaking so hard I could not read the gauges.
The incident occurred while the passengers were being served breakfast, which I imagine would have made the plane’s sudden, sharp descent from 32,000 feet to 24,000 feet an extremely messy one.
Your next flight will probably be fine.