On the morning of 14 May 2018, Sichuan Airlines (3U) flight 8633 from Chongqing to Lhasa, Tibet, operating with an Airbus A319-133, was at its cruise altiude of 9,800 meters (approximately FL321) over mountainous terrain when the first officer's windshield cracked and then burst. Portions of the flight controls were damaged in the explosive decompression and the first officer as well as one member of the cabin crew were injured. The captain initiated an emergency descent, intially to 7,100 meters (approximately FL235, the minimum safe altitude at that location) and turned back to Chengdu where the flight safely landed about 35 minutes after the initial accident. (Additional details are in the article from The Aviation Herald in the references below.)
Today's Featured Map shows the geodesic path (red) along with the flight's actual path (orange). Several other airports are also marked to provide context for readers who are unfamiliar with airports in the region beyond those with the most international service.
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