Chinese female astronaut candidate was a hero pilot

June 11th, 2012 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 11 (IANS) One of China’s two female astronaut candidates was once a hero pilot who successfully dealt with a mid-air emergency.

Liu Yang was taking part in a routine PLA flight when her plane suffered a bird-strike shortly after takeoff. Her plane’s windshield splattered with blood and the cockpit filled with a burning smell after the aircraft hit a flock of 18 pigeons.

Liu Yang managed to stabilise the plane and made a successful emergency landing 11 minutes after the incident occurred, China Daily reported Monday. The daily did not say when the incident occurred.

Born in Henan province in 1978, Liu enrolled in the Changchun No.1 Flight College of the PLA Air Force and went on to become an Air Force cargo pilot.

In China, pilots with the experience of dealing with emergencies are preferred for astronaut selection.

The other female astronaut candidate is Wang Yaping.

One of them will be selected for the Shenzhou IX manned space mission, becoming China’s first female astronaut.

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