Officials said the incident happened Monday when the windshield shattered on Sichuan Airlines Flight 3U8633.
The aircraft made its emergency landing in the southwest city of Chengdu.
Pilot Liu Chuanjian told Chinese media that the aircraft, an Airbus A319, had just reached cruising altitude of 32,000ft when there was a bang in the cockpit and he realised that the right-hand side of the windscreen was gone.
After the captain heard a deafening sound, he looked over and noticed the right windshield was missing. The co-pilot, who was luckily wearing a seatbelt, was pulled halfway through the window.
The most popular chat forum on the incident was titled "My Hero Captain". None of the plane's 119 passengers were injured and the aircraft safely landed at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport in southern China.
According to Sichuan Airlines, the co-pilot sustained scratches on the face and minor injuries on the waist; one female passenger also had minor injuries on the waist.
"He had half of his body sucked out the broken windshield at that time due to the sudden change of pressure".
"Upon the request of the aviation authorities in China and the European Union (CAAC and BEA), Airbus has assigned a dedicated technical team to provide any necessary support to the investigation led by CAAC", an Airbus spokesman said.
"Then the oxygen masks dropped. we experienced a few seconds of free fall before it stabilised again".
The CAA said the windshield showed no signs of malfunction that required any maintenance prior to the incident. On May 7, a JetBlue flight's cockpit window cracked, forcing an emergency landing.
Liu said he has flown the route 100 times, and is familiar with many different flight situations. "People were shocked", the agency quoted an unnamed passenger as saying.
"I want to thank the pilot and the cabin crew for staying calm and helping us land safely", Phuntsog wrote on his WeChat social media account.
The crew in the cockpit did not see anything hit the plane, they just heard the noise of the window smashing.
While freezing air was blasting into the cockpit, Liu struggled to maintain control of the turbulence that was throwing the plane into chaos.
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