Chinese aviation regulators have launched sector-wide inspections for safety potential as lapsed as authorities raced to find victims and black boxes of commercial jets that crashed in the mountains of southern China.
The cause of the China Eastern Airlines jet crash in Guangxi province on Monday has yet to be determined, with Chinese aviation authorities warning that their investigation will be very difficult due to severe damage to the plane.
The two -week inspection on the sector will involve inspections at all regional air traffic control bureaus, airlines and flight training institutes to ensure the “absolute” safety of aviation operations and people’s lives, China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) said late. on Tuesday.
Since the crash, China Eastern and two subsidiaries have discontinued their fleet of more than 200 Boeing 737-800 jets. The last commercial jet to crash in mainland China was in 2010, when the Embraer E-190 regional jet flown by Henan Airlines crashed.
Highlighting the highest level of concern, Vice Prime Minister Liu He traveled to Guangxi on Monday night to oversee search and rescue operations. The deputy prime minister was also sent to the crash site in 2010.
Officials in charge of search and rescue will be “diligent in their search as long as there is a glimmer of hope,” after a special meeting on Tuesday led by Liu, according to government media reports.
Officials were also told to release information “in accordance with the principles of timeliness, accuracy, openness and transparency”, and the broader aviation sector must conduct special inspections to prevent major safety accidents.
At the first press conference held by the government late Tuesday night in Guangxi, an aviation official said the crashed 737-800 jet had met airworthiness standards before takeoff and the crew was in good health.
Hundreds of rescuers have been searching for victims after the Boeing jet crashed with 132 people on board. No survivors were found, a situation that the government media described as bleak.
A jet was seen plunging to the ground at an angle of about 35 degrees from the vertical in video images from the vehicle’s dashboard camera, according to Chinese media. Reuters could not immediately confirm the footage.
Flight MU5735 was en route from the southwestern city of Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, to Guangzhou in Guangdong province bordering Hong Kong, when it suddenly plummeted from cruising height at a time when it normally began to descend before its landing.
“The‘ normal ’drop rate at a‘ normal ’drop-off speed from 29,000 feet is 2,000-3,000 feet per minute depending on a number of different things,” said an airline pilot outside China, who declined to be identified.
Even a rapid drop during a pressure drop event would only be about twice that rate, the pilot said. FlightRadar24 said the plane reached a drop rate of 31,000 feet per minute.
The disaster came as Boeing struggled to recover from several crises, most notably the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on air travel and safety concerns over its 737 MAX model following two fatal crashes.
China Eastern also faced deepening losses and more rigorous regulatory scrutiny following the crash.
The tragedy has shocked a country with one of the best airline safety records in the world and its airline industry over the past decade, before COVID, one of the world’s fastest -growing markets in terms of passenger traffic.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)