A Chinese airliner that crashed to the ground at 350 mph, killing all 132 on board, may have been intentionally crashed by someone in the cockpit, data from the plane’s black box suggests.
In the horror smash in March, China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plummeted 29,100 feet in just a minute and a half, killing everyone on board.
Investigators investigating the crash are now investigating whether it was a matter of premeditated action on the flight deck, without finding evidence of a technical malfunction, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Two black box recorders discovered in the plane’s fireball wreckage were sent to Washington for experts to recover data, although both were damaged.
Flight data from one of the jet’s black boxes suggests someone in the cockpit intentionally brought the plane down, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the preliminary assessment by US officials.
“The plane did what someone in the cockpit told it to do,” the outlet quoted a source as saying.
The latest update comes after an expert claimed pilots aboard the doomed plane may have passed out as the plane began to plummet, before briefly regaining consciousness while attempting to save it.
The jet, which was en route from Kunming to Guangzhou, crashed to the ground in the mountains of the Guangxi region on March 21 after suddenly falling from cruising altitude, killing all 123 passengers and nine crew members on board.
It was the deadliest air disaster in mainland China in 28 years.
The pilots did not respond to repeated calls from air traffic controllers and planes nearby during the rapid descent, authorities said.
A source told Reuters investigators are looking into whether the crash was a “voluntary” act.
Boeing Co, the maker of the jet, and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) declined to comment, referring questions to Chinese regulators.
The China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC), which is leading the investigation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In rainy conditions, investigators used hand tools, drones and sniffer dogs to comb the densely forested slopes for the two black boxes — as well as human remains.
Harrowing images showed large parts of the jet strewn on the ground while a fire could be seen in the background.
Flight MU5735 left the city of Kunming at 13:11 local time (5:11 GMT) and was scheduled to reach Guangzhou at 15:05.
Just as the plane was about to begin its descent, it suddenly lost altitude rapidly, falling thousands of feet in a matter of minutes.
It briefly soared back to about 9,000 feet for a few seconds before plummeting to the ground at an estimated 350 mph in a hilly forested area near the city of Wuzhou.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5363952/chinese-airliner-crashed-deliberately-pilot-cockpit-intruder/ The Chinese airliner “was DELIBERATELY crashed by a pilot or intruder in the cockpit,” sending the plane into a dive at 350 mph, killing 132 people