American circles on the flight recorder: Boeing deliberately crashed in China?

American circles to the black box
Boeing deliberately crashed in China?

The crash of a China Eastern Airlines plane in March would not have been an accident. Someone in the cockpit caused the Boeing 737-800 to crash, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the flight recorder. The Chinese authorities remain silent.

According to media, flight data of the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 that crashed in late March indicates that the crash was caused intentionally. Data from a black box recovered after the crash indicated inputs into the controls had propelled the plane into the fatal dive, said people familiar with US authorities’ preliminary assessment of the causes of the crash. The Boeing 737-800 was at high altitude when it suddenly entered a near vertical descent and crashed into a mountain at extreme speed. All 132 passengers died.

“The plane did as it was told by someone in the cockpit,” a source said. Investigating Chinese authorities have so far found no mechanical or flight control issues with the plane that crashed in southern China on March 21. Information gathered so far from the China Eastern investigation has prompted U.S. officials involved in the investigation to turn their attention to the actions of a pilot, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s also possible that someone else on the plane entered the cockpit and intentionally caused the crash, the sources said.

Neither Boeing nor flight safety officials have yet developed any service bulletins or safety guidelines related to the crash, people familiar with the matter said. These notices are used when the authorities deem it necessary to alert airlines and pilots to problems encountered during the accident or to indicate the need to repair the aircraft.

No confirmation from China

A person familiar with the US officials’ preliminary assessment said the Americans did not have all the information available to their Chinese counterparts. In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, China Eastern said it found no evidence to indicate whether or not there were any issues with the crashed plane. The airline reiterated its manager’s statement in March that the pilots were in good health and the family situation was good. The pilots would not have had any financial problems either.

The airline said it was not responsible for investigating the crash, citing official statements including the summary of the Chinese government’s preliminary report released on April 20. He indicates that data recovery and analysis of the damaged flight recorders are still in progress. “Any unofficial speculation could affect the accident investigation and affect the actual progress of the global aviation industry,” the airline said.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China, which is responsible for aviation safety in China, did not respond to faxed requests for comment or respond to calls.

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