China Eastern’s accident probe was reported as a deliberate act

An aircraft carrying the second black box of the China Eastern Airlines flight crashed to Beijing on March 27, 2022. Investigators are looking into the crash of a China Eastern Airlines jet is looking into whether it was due to intentional action on the flight deck. Two people have briefed on this matter evidence of technical problems found.

Yang Kunye | Visual China Corporation | beautiful pictures

Investigators are looking into the crash of a China Eastern Airlines The jet is being checked to see if it was caused by intentional action on the flight deck, no evidence has been found of a technical problem, the two said briefly.

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that flight data from one of the Boeing 737-800’s black boxes showed someone in the cockpit intentionally brought down the plane, citing people familiar with the preliminary assessment. department of American officials.

BoeingThe jet maker and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) declined to comment and referred questions to Chinese regulators.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which is leading the investigation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Boeing 737-800, en route from Kunming to Guangzhou, crashed on March 21 in the mountains of the Guangxi region, after suddenly plummeting from flying height, killing all 123 passengers and crew members on board. Nine crew members were killed.

It was mainland China’s deadliest air disaster in 28 years.

The pilots did not respond to repeated calls from air traffic controllers and nearby planes during the quick landing, authorities said. A source told Reuters that investigators were looking into whether the collision was a “voluntary” act.

Screenshots of the Wall Street Journal story appear to have been censored both on Chinese social media platform Weibo and messaging app Wechat on Wednesday. The hashtag topics “China Eastern” and “China Eastern black box” are banned on Weibo, which leads to a violation of the law and users cannot share posts about the incident in Wechat group chats.

The CAAC said on April 11 in response to online rumors of an intentional crash that the speculation had “seriously misleading the public” and “interfered with the investigation of the accident.”

One woman who asked to be identified only by her last name, Wen, who lost her husband in the crash, told Reuters on Wednesday she had not seen the Wall Street Journal report but hoped the results of the investigation would come soon. to be announced.

Wen said she and other members of the victim’s family had signed an agreement with China Eastern that included a stance on compensation, but she declined to say how much had been offered.

China Eastern did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Wall Street Journal said the airline said in a statement that there was no evidence that could determine whether the plane had problems.

There are no technical recommendations

The 737-800 is the predecessor to the Boeing 737 MAX but does not have the systems involved in the deadly 737-MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, resulting in prolonged grounding of the MAX aircraft.

China Eastern grounded its entire 737-800 fleet following the crash but resumed flights in mid-April, a decision seen by many at the time as removing any new concerns. on the safety of Boeing’s most widely used aircraft model.

According to experts, in the summary of the preliminary crash report that was not released last month, Chinese investigators did not indicate any technical recommendations for the 737-800, which was brought in in use since 1997 with a strong safety record.

NTSB President Jennifer Homendy said in an interview with Reuters on May 10 that board and Boeing investigators had traveled to China to assist with the China investigation. She noted that the investigation had not found any safety issues that required any urgent action.

Homendy said if the board had any safety concerns, it would “make urgent safety recommendations.”

The NTSB has assisted Chinese investigators in examining the black boxes at the US lab in Washington at China’s request, despite political tensions between the countries.

CAAC said the NTSB confirmed that it did not release information about the China Eastern aircraft carrier accident to the media, the Global Times reported.

Shares of Boeing closed up 6.5%.

Chinese officials say a final report on the cause could take two years or more to compile. Analysts say most crashes are caused by a mix of technical and human factors.

Intentional collisions are exceptionally rare globally. Experts note that the latest theory leaves open as to whether the action was from a single pilot acting alone or the result of a struggle or intrusion, but sources stress nothing has been confirmed yet. receive.

The cockpit voice recorder was damaged in the crash and it is unclear if investigators were able to get any information from it.

In March 2015, a Germanwings co-pilot intentionally steered an Airbus A320 into a French mountainside, killing all 150 people on board.

French investigators discovered that the 27-year-old was under suspicion of a “psychic depressive episode”, which was concealed from his employer. They then called for better mental health guidelines and stronger peer support groups for pilots.

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