The crash of a China Eastern Airlines passenger plane in March, which killed 132, may have been caused intentionally, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Flight data would indicate that someone in the cockpit of the Boeing 737-800 deliberately crashed the plane and entered commands into the steering system, the newspaper said. It relies on sources that know the first research results. “The plane did what someone in the cockpit ordered,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed person.
The Chinese air traffic authority CAAC did not comment on the newspaper report. The CAAC is investigating with the US Transportation Safety Authority NTSB. The Global Times newspaper, often used as a spokesperson for the Chinese government, reported on the authority of people involved in the investigation that they had “not disclosed any information from the investigation to the media.” Chinese authorities had dismissed similar reports as “rumours” containing “false information” by April.
The crash happened in puzzling circumstances. The plane, en route from Kunming in Yunnan province to Guangzhou in Guangdong province, crashed in a remote, hilly area near Wuzhou city in Guangxi region. The aircraft dove rapidly from a height of more than eight kilometres.
Chinese authorities have not indicated any potential technical problems, leading investigators to focus on the pilots’ actions, the Wall Street Journal reported. Someone may have entered the cockpit.