According to a report released on Tuesday, the China Eastern jet that crashed with 132 people on board into a mountainside in March appears to be not an accident but was done intentionally. The black box data recovered from the aircraft has revealed that the plane was deliberately brought down, the Wall Street Journalreported.
The Boeing 737-800 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou when it crashed into the mountains at 29,000 feet, killing all 132 passengers and staff members on board. It was the worst deadly air tragedy in China in decades. Investigators are yet to share further details behind the intentional crash.
Intentional, Not Accident
According to Chinese official media, the plane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were found and forwarded to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington DC for study.
The Wall Street Journal, citing individuals familiar with US officials' preliminary assessment, reported that flight data from the lost airliner indicated someone in the cockpit drove the Boeing 737-800 into a "near-vertical" descent while traveling at a high altitude in late March.
According to the report, data from one of the jet's "black box" flight recorders retrieved from the accident site indicated that inputs to the controls pushed the plane into a near-vertical dive.
"The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit," according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.
The activities of a pilot are being investigated by American officials, according to the WSJ, but it is also plausible that someone else on the plane broke into the cockpit and purposefully caused the catastrophe.
According to Reuters, which quoted two persons briefed on the situation, investigators are investigating into whether the crash was caused by deliberate action on the flight deck, with no evidence of a mechanical problem detected.
China Still Silent
According to sources, Chinese officials are yet to cite mechanical or flight control faults behind the March 21 disaster. could necessitate further industry action, as is typical in such cases, a fact that American officials believe lends credibility to their assessment.
The three pilots on board, according to China Eastern Airlines, were qualified and in good health. The airline told the Wall Street Journal separately that none of the pilots appeared to be in financial jeopardy.
According to the WSJ, 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.
Last month, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which is leading investigations into the crash, said reports that the plane may have been crashed deliberately had "gravely misled the public" and "interfered with accident investigation work".
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.