Deadly Plane Crash in China Leaves 132 Dead

Yago Echevarria, Writer

On March 21, 2022 a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed into a muddy hillside in southern China while enroute to Guangzhou.

The 6-year-old American made airliner was cruising at 29,000 feet when it suddenly pitched down to an almost 90 degree angle heading towards the ground. After falling over 20,000 feet it started to level out at 7,000 feet before beginning another 90 degree dive towards the ground. The aircraft collided with the ground at near supersonic speeds.

Chinese investigative authorities were quick to the scene, with Americans brought in soon after, due to the aircraft being manufactured in the United States by Chicago based aircraft manufacturer Boeing. The Chinese government hasn’t released much information about the crash or any of their findings yet, but they have said that they plan on having preliminary findings presented to the public towards the end of April 2022.

The Chinese and American investigators were able to find the aircraft’s black boxes which record flight data and cockpit voices, which as of now have been sent to National Transportation Safety Board headquarters in Washington D.C.

Investigators have ruled out the possibility of the Airplane being plagued with the same issues as the Boeing 737 MAX as the Boeing 737-800 is part of an older generation of 737 that doesn’t include the faulty MCAS system that brought down the Lion Air flight and Ethiopian Air flight back in 2018 and 2019.

On April 11 Chinese government controlled tabloid Global Times published an article trying to dispel a rumor that the China Eastern Copilot could have been the cause of the crash. Although no information about the accident investigation has been released yet, speculators within the industry say that this crash has a lot of similarities with the crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 where the copilot locked the captain out of the cockpit and crashed the plane intentionally in order to commit suicide. This speculation stemmed from the airplane’s vertical position during the crash.

Aviation expert Peter Marosszesky told The New York Times that modern airliners are designed to come out of a dive on their own and wouldn’t unless they have someone at the controls pushing the nose down or a faulty elevator trim system that would force the plane down.