NTSB hopes to travel to China this week for China Eastern crash investigation

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been issued visas to travel to China to help with the probe into the crash of China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) flight MU5735.  

Technical advisors from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and Boeing, part of the NTSB team, have also received visas, the NTSB said in a tweet on March 29, 2022. While engine maker CFM is supporting the investigation, they have no plan to send representatives to China.  

The team hopes to travel this week, the NTSB added. It is not known whether they will get exemptions from China’s strict COVID-19 quarantine requirements for overseas visitors.  

Mystery still surrounds the March 21 crash of the China Eastern Boeing 737-800, which suddenly plunged from its cruising altitude of 29,000 feet in a steep dive while en route from Kunming to Guangzhou. All 132 on board were killed when the aircraft crashed into mountainous terrain in the Guangxi province in southern China. 


Chinese investigators have recovered the two black boxes – the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. The two items are crucial in any accident investigation and will help investigators piece together what happened and how such accidents can be prevented in the future.   

Under international air accident protocols, the investigation is usually led by the country where the accident occurred, with representatives from other parties involved, including the country where the aircraft was manufactured, invited to take part.   

“The NTSB team will not release any information about the investigation as that authority belongs to the Chinese government under ICAO Annex 13,” the NTSB declared.  


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