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Legends of Aviation #10: Captain Liu Chuanjian

Recently, the movie "The Captain" became a hit which is shot according to the 2018 Sichuan Airlines flight diversion Chengdu incident. This movie created more than 2 billion at the box office. As a hero story, it also attracts people’s attention and brings a legend of aviation to the public’s field of vision again.

In reality, let’s find out what really happened on May 14, 2018, during the cruise phase of Sichuan Airlines flight 3U8633 in Chengdu area. The windshield in front of the right seat of the cockpit suddenly broke. The cockpit windshield came off. Loss of pressure in the cockpit, the temperature dropped to minus 40 degrees rapidly, and most of the instruments failed. The captain couldn’t hear the radio. One of co-pilots had his face cut and his waist was sprained. One other cabin crew member was also injured in the descent. Now you can imagine how terrible a situation the captain is facing.

Cpt. Liu Chuanjian, with superior flying skills and great psychological quality, in close coordination with the civil aviation security departments and coordinated with another co-pilot Liang Peng, made a safe diversion to Chengdu Shuangliu airport at 07:46. All the passengers left the plane orderly and received appropriate care. During the diversion. A flight attendant and a co-pilot suffered minor injuries during the descent, but none of the plane’s 119 passengers were injured.

After the incident, the journalist asked captain Liu Chuanjian if he paid attention to his own physical condition. His reply was:

“I just wanted to be able to land the plane safely. I couldn't pay attention to my health. To avoid further damage to the entire crew, it was necessary to slow down and make a forced landing, and the descent at an emergency altitude caused so loud a noise that the automatic equipment could not help. I can only depend on manual and visual control, and relied on perseverance to master the direction of the bar to complete the forced landing. My body must have been shaking a lot.”

In 2006, Cpt. Liu Chuanjian switched from the military to Sichuan Airlines and changed his status into a civil aviation pilot. "The fighters used to fly are fighters. They are pursuing flexibility. Now I must fly passenger planes I put safety in the first place. The two concepts are completely different." Although he has been an Air Force flight instructor for 11 years, after entering civil aviation, Cpt. Liu Chuanjian is to be perfected and transformed in many aspects. The experience of pursuing flexibility under certain unexpected situations also can save many lives.

In the past ten years, China's civil aviation carried one million flights, with an accident rate of 0.036, 1/12 of the world level of 0.43 in the same period. Therefore, it could be said with validity that the aviation safety of civil aviation of China is under the control of sustainable safety and has formed a systematic safety management system, operation and monitoring system. One of the most important elements of China’s aviation safety is the strict training and high requirement of pilots. Captain Liu Chuanjian shows the excellent professional quality of Chinese pilots and makes the world have a new look at Chinese aviation.

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