The China Boeing 737 crash

“A black box was recovered Wednesday from the wreckage of the China Eastern airliner that plunged out of the sky mysteriously, killing all 132 people aboard when it slammed into a mountainside, officials said.

A flight recorder from China Eastern MU5735 “was found,” Liu Lusong, a spokesman for China’s aviation authority, announced, although state media later said it was badly damaged, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Boeing 737-800 is equipped with two flight recorders: one in the rear cabin that tracks flight data and the other a cockpit voice recorder.

“At present, it is unclear whether it is a data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder,” that has been found, said Mao Yanfeng, an official at the Civil Aviation Administration of China.”

Comment: A vertical dive from 30,00+ feet. That sees unusual to me. Crash on landing due to downdrafts, running into mountain in bad visibility, these are causesvfor crashes that I am familiar with, but a vertical dive is different. Pilot suicide? Could be. Massive structural failure? This seems unlikely in an aircraft that had just passed its Chinese inspections. pl

Black box recovered from China Eastern airline crash site (nypost.com)

List of accidents and incidents involving the Boeing 737 – Wikipedia

China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735 – Wikipedia

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13 Responses to The China Boeing 737 crash

  1. Whitewall says:

    Maybe it has to do with who might have been on board. A pilot acts because his family is threatened. Shot down maybe? We’ll never know for sure.

  2. walrus says:

    The aircraft, from the video, appears to have lost its vertical stabilizer and rudder. That involves massive structural failure in the tail region and that would no doubt include elevator and/or horizontal stabilizer failure.

    The question now is what caused that structural failure? Maintenance? Manufacturing defect? Rear pressure bulkhead failure (a tail strike on takeoff)? Foul play? Mishandling? Anyone’s guess.

    • Mark Logan says:

      Walrus,

      Here’s a video from someone with a lot of knowledge which deals with what we know so far.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUkSlxcC8Jc&t=613s

      It’s quite informative.

      Somewhere around 9 minutes in he starts explaining that the only thing that can hold the nose down like that is the horizontal stabilizer. Without that it goes down something like a maple seed.

      Only the horizontal stabilizer can hold the nose down against the force of the wings trying to pull it up, so he determines that had to be attached. Spends a lot of time dealing with the trim system. A 727 went down in California in a very similar way with a run-away trim which jammed the jack screw, and he mentions and shows a similar vid of a 767 which was a series of errors by the crew which created a similar situation.

    • zmajcek says:

      walrus

      This looks almost like a software glitch.
      People are analog, this looks digital. The angle is too extreme.

  3. Lefty665 says:

    More wonderousness from the ace Boeing software team?

    They’ve got another rocket on the launch pad. Any bets the programming will work better this time than the last?

  4. Deap says:

    The demented Swiss pilot comes to mind, who intentionally crashed his full plane into the Alps a few year ago, distraught because he was called a “trolly dolly” by his crew mates due to his prior service as a flight attendant.

    Horrible things like this do happen in the air. Along with Boeing 737 having a cursed history of flight controls mismanagement.

  5. Sam says:

    High altitude stall similar to the Air France flight out of Brazil is a possibility. The high G forces would have blacked out the pilots. It all happened in couple minutes.

    • Razor says:

      Air France 447 descended flat on its belly due to nose up stall. Junior pilot was pulling back on sidestick to climb, unknown to pilot flying 1st officer who was pushing his sidestick forward to lower the nose. The aircraft never recovered from the stall.

  6. akaPatience says:

    This crash was unusual. As someone who often watches “Air Disasters” on the Smithsonian Channel with my husband, I’m eager to learn the investigation results. It wouldn’t be the first time a pilot deliberately crashed an aircraft, which is I’m sure the initial question many have entertained, since the 737 800 is so reliable and widely used. The video of its nosedive is horrifying:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDDiB1dOGgs

  7. walrus says:

    Latest speculation from a few pilots with B737 experience is crew mishandling as the cause. From public data, the aircraft exceeded its Vne (velocity never to be exceeded) by about a 100 knots – 460 vs a Vne of 360 in the dive from 30000 ft. Airflow around parts of the aircraft would be supersonic at that speed and the aircraft is not designed for that condition.

    That speed alone or a ham fisted attempt at recovery, may have caused the structural damage.

  8. Fourth and Long says:

    Someone with my admittedly severe degree of paranoia and exceeding paranoia, indeed, moi, actually thought the following upon hearing of this disaster.

    That it was evidence of the meticulously extreme degree of preparation of some ne’er do wells, being as they planned for this event in advance by crashing so prominently those two Boeings two or so years ago and then going through the charades of detailed inquiry and public investigations. Getting bonafides in ordure for plausible deniability of mal intent. No point pointing out those two were slightly different airplane models. You don’t have the affliction.

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