NTSB to assist China Eastern flight MU5735 crash investigation

A group of seven investigators and technical advisers representing the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) joined Chinese authorities to investigate the crash of China Eastern Boeing 737-800 as it was carrying out flight MU5735. 

On April 1, 2022, the NTSB team flew to China to assist the local Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) in the investigation of the China Eastern flight MU5735 crash. Although it is not officially confirmed yet when the team should return, its participation in the probe could last several weeks. 

On the day of the US investigators’ departure, the NTSB informed in a tweet that “[they] will limit interactions with those outside of investigation similar to safety protocols at Beijing Olympics, which will allow them to begin work immediately without a quarantine.” 

While a part of the NTSB investigators will provide their support to Chinese authorities locally, another team will be giving a helping hand with the extraction of the cockpit voice recorder data. The operation will take place in the NTSB lab in Washington. As per terms of an international agreement, the agency has a right to take part into the investigation of any incident involving US-built aircraft. 

Mystery still surrounds the crash of the China Eastern Boeing 737-800 on March 21, 2022. The airliner, registered B-1791, was en route from Kunming to Guangzhou when it suddenly plunged from its cruising altitude of 29,000 feet in a steep dive 

All 132 on board were killed when the aircraft crashed into the mountainous terrain of the Guangxi province in southern China. The NTSB investigators hope that the data of the cockpit voice recorder will help to find out what happened in the flight deck before the crash. 

It took two days after the incident for Chinese recovery crews to find the cockpit voice recorder. The second black box, the flight data recorder, was found on March 27, 2022. Both recorders are currently being examined in a lab located in Beijing. 


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