The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Wednesday that there were no technical irregularities or pilot errors that led to the crash of China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735 in the Guangxi mountains on March 21.
The report also indicates that the data from the two black boxes has not yet been extracted. Investigators said the boxes were badly damaged and their contents may be irrecoverable.
However, black boxes are said to be virtually indestructible devices that are designed to survive accidents.
Following the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in 2014, Scott Hamilton, director of aviation consultancy Leeham Co., told NPR:
“It is extremely rare for a black box to be destroyed. Black boxes have traditionally outperformed their design. It would take concentrated fire beyond its design strength, or an impact so high that it would be beyond this that he could bear.”
He went on to say that he cannot think of a case in which both devices have been damaged to the point that there is no useful data.
No conclusion on the cause of the crash or why it suddenly descended in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, killing all 132 people on board, has been offered.
The report, which was to publish its findings within 30 days of the crash, was filed by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Only the summary has been made public.
Earlier this month, world times reported that the CAAC had dispelled rumors that analysis of flight MU5735’s black box data had been completed and that the co-pilot was responsible for the accident.
The CAAC said the rumours, which also claimed the CAAC called for pilots to undergo mandatory mental health assessments, were started online by people misusing the names of government agencies and public safety bureaus. .
Flight MU5735 was en route from Kunming to Guangzhou on March 21. At 2:20 p.m., the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 airliner, diverged from its assigned altitude. At this point, air traffic controllers in Guangzhou attempted to contact the crew, but they did not respond.
At 2:21 p.m., the Guangzhou area control radar lost signal with the plane after its altitude dropped from 8,900 meters to 3,380 meters, traveling at a speed of 1,010 kilometers per hour.
Search and rescue teams were deployed to the area to try to recover the wreckage, the two black boxes from the plane and search for survivors.
READ MORE: WATCH: Discovery of the black box of flight MU5735
The two black boxes were recovered a week after the search began. The cockpit black box, which records audio, was found first. The second black box, which collects data such as aircraft movements, was found a few days later.
READ MORE: Flight MU5735: a search and rescue log
[Cover image via [email protected]中国新闻网]