(Yicai Global) May 16 -- Airbus SAS has sent a technical team to help Chinese and French authorities investigate how a cockpit windshield separated mid-flight from an A319 operated by Chinese carrier Sichuan Airlines.
Airbus did not comment on how or why the windshield failed in a statement but said it will provide all necessary support to the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety.
The aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing during a flight from the western municipality of Chongqing to Lhasa, capital of Tibet autonomous region, on May 14 when the forward right-hand windshield pane blew out. Sichuan Airlines blamed a "mechanical failure" for the incident which nearly sucked a co-pilot out of the plane.
The aircraft, built in 2011 and delivered to Sichuan Airlines Co. in July the same year has accumulated 19,942 flight hours to date, Airbus said.
The investigation has so far determined that the windshield had not been replaced during its near seven years of service and was still the original pane supplied by Airbus, said Tang Weibin, director of the CAAC's Aviation Safety Office, at a press conference. The airline had not reported any faults on concerned part and no maintenance had been required up to that point.
Editor: William Clegg