Investigators have completed a preliminary report into the crash of China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735, but there are few answers as to what caused the tragedy.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) detailed some of the findings of the preliminary report in a statement on its website on April 20, 2022.
However, with the black boxes sustaining severe damage, work is still continuing to recover the contents and analyze the data, the CAAC said. As per international air accident investigation protocols, preliminary reports are typically published within 30 days of an incident or accident.
According to the preliminary report, the flight and cabin crew were fully qualified and there were no maintenance faults. The aircraft was not carrying any dangerous cargo, there were no severe weather conditions and the navigation and monitoring equipment involved in the flight was normal.
The statement also said radio communications between the crew and air traffic control were normal, with the last call occurring at 14:16 local time.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft, registered B-1791, was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou with 132 passengers on board on March 21, 2022, when it plunged from its cruising altitude at about 14:20 local time.
The aircraft’s final speed was 1010 kilometers per hour when it crashed in the Guangxi mountains in southern China, killing all 132 onboard.
It took authorities several days after the crash to recover the aircraft’s flight data and cockpit voice recorder. The main impact caused a crater 2.7 meters deep, the CAAC said with major parts of the aircraft, including the horizontal stabilizer, vertical tail, rudder, engines, wings, fuselage parts, landing gear and cockpit parts, being found at the scene.
China Eastern grounded its fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft after the crash for checks but returned them to service within a month.