Investigation into China Eastern Airlines 737 crash continues: CAAC

The CAAC provided an update on the progress of an investigation of the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 crash in March 2022
Markus Mainka /

The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) shared an update on the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 crash, a year after the fatal incident on March 21, 2022. 

According to the CAAC, which worked together with relevant departments, the authority “conducted an in-depth investigation into the accident” with “meticulous and rigorous technical investigation work”. 

“Over the past year, the technical investigation team has conducted detailed inspections of the wreckage of the plane to determine the possible working status of key control components of the plane before the crash, conducted experiments on more than 100 important pieces of wreckage, and analyzed the causes of damage,” the CAAC continued.  

The authority indicated that it has investigated China Eastern Airlines’ maintenance procedures and airline management and had looked at the air traffic control (ATC) performance, ground support, and security checks of passengers and cargo. The CAAC combined “relevant data to analyze the flight status of the aircraft in the final stage Perform analysis, simulation validation using flight simulators and real aircraft”, the update added.  

Until now, “the technical investigation team has carried out a lot of work such as on-site investigation, data inspection, personnel interviews, and experimental analysis”. The Chinese authority highlighted that it had to carry out an “in-depth” investigation, which will continue going forward with “cause analysis and experimental verification on the basis of the previous work”. Information will be released “in a timely manner according to the progress of the investigation”.  

The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800, registered as B-1791, was operating flight MU5735 between Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG) and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) when the aircraft suddenly dove from its cruising altitude at 29,000 feet. The aircraft collided with the terrain and claimed the lives of all 132 passengers and crew members onboard.  

In May 2022, reports surfaced stating that the nose-dive movement, which resulted in the accident, had been done deliberately. A person familiar with the matter was cited by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) as saying the 737 “did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit”.   

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