Black Boxes Badly Damaged, No Clues To Explain Plane Crash: China

Black box badly damaged, no clues to explain the plane crash: China

Two audio recorders on the plane were badly damaged in the collision, China said

China said on Wednesday that the black box of a Boeing 737-800 jet that crashed last month had been badly damaged, with little public clues to explain the crash into a tree hillside. dense vegetation killed 132 people on board.

China Eastern Flight MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou plunged from altitude while descending into the Guangxi mountains on March 21 in China’s first fatal air crash since 2010.

Summarizing its preliminary crash report, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) suggests little if any information will be recovered from the recorders and cockpit data after they have been submitted. to Washington for analysis.

“Two voice recorders on board the aircraft were severely damaged in the collision, and recovery and data analysis work is still underway,” the CAAC said in a statement.

The CAAC gave no indication as to the focus of its probe. Most accidents are caused by a combination of technical and human factors.

But it ruled out some risks, saying the crew was qualified, the plane was properly maintained, the weather was fine and there were no dangerous goods on board.

In a potentially important find, it says most of the debris is concentrated in one area.

That wouldn’t normally happen in the event of a catastrophic rupture or mid-air explosion, safety analysts said, but did not rule out parts being ripped apart during a dive after the CAAC said part of a crash wingtips were found 12 km (8 mi) away.

“Two questions you have to consider: did the piece falling out cause the dive or the dive causing the piece to fly away,” said Anthony Brickhouse, an aviation safety expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Chinese aviation expert Li Xiaojin said that in the absence of other detections, the data from the black box is crucial. It could take at least a year for the investigation to be concluded, he added.

“These boxes are designed to be really, really strong,” says Brickhouse. “I really can’t think of an accident in recent history where we found the boxes and we didn’t hear from them.”


The 737-800, the predecessor to the 737 MAX, has ceased commercial operations in China more than three years after two deadly crashes.

But China Eastern, which grounded its entire fleet of 223 737-800 planes after the crash, resumed those commercial flights on Sunday, effectively eliminating any new safety concerns. compared to Boeing’s previous and most widely used model.

In short, the CAAC did not issue any technical recommendations on the 737-800, which has been in service since 1997 with a strong safety record, according to experts. It doesn’t have the cockpit system at the heart of the MAX crisis.

Shares of Boeing were partially lower in early trading. The company did not immediately comment on the report.

The Chinese agency said it had completed its preliminary report within 30 days. Such reports are often published, although they are not subject to global rules.

Paul Hayes, safety director at UK-based Ascend by Cirium, said China does not have a tradition of making widely accessible accident reports, but the statement marks a step towards greater safety. Transparency has been credited with making flying safer around the world, said Paul Hayes, safety director at UK-based Ascend by Cirium.

The CAAC said the last normal call from controllers to the plane was at 2:16 p.m. local time when it was flying at 29,200 feet.

Brickhouse said it appeared the flight was proceeding normally and communications were normal.

“And suddenly, the plane didn’t make contact and that’s when it started diving.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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