According to a report released Tuesday, the China Eastern plane crash that killed 132 people when it slammed into a mountainside looks to have been an intentional act.
The Wall Street Journal claimed, citing individuals familiar with US officials’ first assessment, that flight data from the lost airliner indicated someone in the cockpit pushed the Boeing 737-800 into a “near-vertical” drop while cruising at a high altitude in late March.
According to authorities, data from a black box discovered near the crash scene near Wuzhou in the southern region of Guangxi suggested that controls in the cockpit led the plane into its catastrophic descent.
“The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit,” one source close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
According to the source, Chinese officials have yet to blame the March 21 disaster on mechanical or flight control faults.
According to the publication, the revelation has shifted the investigation’s focus to the acts of a pilot, but it’s also plausible that someone else aboard the plane stormed into the cockpit and caused the catastrophe.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the situation, air safety regulators and Boeing officials have not been working on service bulletins or directives resulting from the crash, which would be issued if authorities believed there was a need to alert airlines to problems during the incident.
According to one source, US investigators may not have all information available to their Chinese colleagues.
According to the aviation trade website Leeham News and Analysis, a first reading of the China Eastern plane’s flight data recorder in April revealed there were deliberate pilot inputs before to the crash.
Officials from China Eastern Airlines claimed they had discovered no evidence that the plane had any difficulties previous to the crash.
The company told the Wall Street Journal that the pilots’ health and financial situation were fine.
According to the publication, the airline also cited a preliminary report from the Chinese government that stated that efforts to restore data and examine the plane’s damaged black boxes were still ongoing.
“Any unofficial speculation may interfere with the accident investigation and affect the real progress of the global air transport industry,” China Eastern said in a statement.
According to the report, the airline also denied a suspected cockpit incursion, citing information from a March 25 news conference during which Chinese authorities confirmed no emergency warning had been received earlier.