Latest on China Eastern Flight MU5735 crash investigation

Notice on the Progress of the Investigation into the East China MU5735 Flight Accident on “3·21”

On March 21, 2022, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft (registration number B-1791) operated by China Eastern Airlines Yunnan Co., Ltd., carrying out the routine passenger flight MU5735 from Kunming Changshui International Airport to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. The plane took off from Kunming Changshui International Airport at 13:16 and deviated from the cruising altitude of 8,900 meters 64 minutes later, rapidly descending and crashing near Mubang Village, Tang County, Wuzhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. All 123 passengers and 9 crew members on board perished.

In accordance with the regulations of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, including the Civil Aviation Regulations of China (CCAR-395) and Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Convention, related departments are collaborating to conduct a technical investigation into this accident. The main progress is as follows:

1. Search, Identification, and Analysis of Debris. Organizing the search for debris evidence, identifying and photographing major debris, marking their discovery locations, and creating a map of the debris distribution; conducting specialized technical investigations on aircraft structures, flight control systems, engines, and analyzing the possible operational status of key control components before the aircraft crashed; sending significant debris such as engine parts and control system components to laboratories for analysis to determine the causes of damage.

2. Flight Operations and Aircraft Airworthiness. Investigating the technical status, health conditions, and performance of the crew members; examining the release plan, load balance, performance calculations, operational monitoring, crew preparation, safety management, training management, personnel qualification management, and maintenance management of the flight in question; examining airworthiness directives, service notices compliance, route and scheduled maintenance, fault retention, fueling and fuel quality of the incident flight; integrating monitoring data, video recordings, etc., to analyze the aircraft’s final flight phase; repairing damaged recorders and analyzing the retrieved data.

3. Flight Support Situation. Investigating the qualifications of personnel, facilities, and equipment at the departure airport; surveying the daily inspection and maintenance of runways, taxiways, taxi routes, and apron surfaces used by the incident flight; examining the qualifications of air traffic controllers, communication navigation surveillance equipment, air traffic automation systems, air traffic control processes, and route weather conditions; investigating basic information about passengers, luggage, cargo, mail, security checks, and loading of the incident flight; verifying the information on dangerous goods carried by the incident flight, as well as the training on dangerous goods for crew members and related support personnel.

According to the investigation, the flight crew and cabin crew of the incident flight held valid licenses and certificates, met the regulations for flight, duty, and rest time, passed health examinations before the flight, and their qualifications and configurations were in line with requirements; the airworthiness documents of the incident aircraft were valid, and the qualifications of the relevant maintenance personnel met the requirements; no faults or abnormalities were found in the aircraft systems, airframe structure, engines, etc., before takeoff, and there were no fault retentions; the qualifications of the operation support personnel at the departure airport met the requirements, the facilities and equipment were working properly, and the operations and procedures were compliant; the qualifications of the relevant air traffic control personnel were in order, communication navigation surveillance equipment was functioning correctly, there were no abnormal radio communications and control commands before the incident, and there were no reports of dangerous weather in the airspace where the aircraft was flying at the time of the incident; the loading of the incident flight met requirements, there were no declarations of dangerous goods in cargo or mail, and there was no evidence of dangerous goods in cargo or baggage.

In the future, the technical investigation team will continue their work on experimental verification and cause analysis, and will timely release relevant information based on the progress of the investigation.

Source: Civil Aviation Administration of China website


Editor of this issue: Liu Xueying

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