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Chinese flight deliberately crashed by pilots? Black box data suggests so

A China Eastern Airlines aircraft that crashed in the southern Guangxi province of China in March now seems to have been deliberately crashed. Flight data obtained from the black box indicates that someone in the cockpit had intentionally crashed the aircraft.

ALSO READ | Chinese aircraft was travelling at speed of sound just before it crashed into hill: Report

The Boeing 737, carrying 132 passengers, was flying at 29,000at a speed of nearly 700 mph as per data from Flightradar24 when it crashed. There were no survivors. It was mainland China’s deadliest aviation disaster in 28 years.

ALSO READ | China plane crash: Second black box recovered, says state media

US officials who analysed data from the black box flight recorders found amid the wreckage said that deliberate input from the cockpit forced the Boeing 737 into its catastrophic dive. The authorities said that the pilots of the plane did not respond to repeated calls from air traffic controllers and nearby planes during the rapid descent.

Chairperson of the National Transportation Safety Board of the US, Jennifer Homendy, said on May 10 that board investigators and Boeing had travelled to China to assist the Chinese investigation. She said that the investigators had not found any safety issues that would require any urgent action.

The airline said it wasn’t responsible for the accident investigation and referred to official announcements, including the Chinese government’s summary of its preliminary report released on April 20. The summary said that data restoration and analysis of the damaged black boxes were still in progress.

VIDEO | All 132 on board Chinese airplane feared dead in crash

According to China Eastern, the pilot and co-pilot had both been in good health and had no known financial or family issues. Chinese authorities said that no emergency code had been sent from the plane, suggesting the cockpit security was unlikely to have been breached.

(With inputs from The Guardian, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal)

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