Preliminary findings on China plane crash released

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Preliminary findings on China plane crash released

China's civil aviation regulator on Wednesday gave a briefing on a preliminary investigation report on the China Eastern Airlines passenger plane crash in March, reported Xinhua.

The report contains information about the plane's flight history, crew and maintenance personnel, airworthiness maintenance, wreckage distribution and other issues, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement.

According to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, a preliminary investigation report should be submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organization and the countries participating in the investigation within 30 days of an accident occurring, the statement said.

Such reports usually contain the factual information already obtained and do not include the analysis or conclusions related to the cause of the accident, according to the statement.

The report, which has been completed, shows that the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, Flight MU5735, departed from Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, for Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, on March 21, and entered the Guangzhou control area at 2:17 p.m.

The area control radar warned of a deviation at 2:20:55 p.m., and the aircraft left the cruising altitude of 8,900 meters.

The controller called the crew immediately, but received no reply.

At 2:21:40 p.m., the last aircraft information recorded by the radar was: standard pressure altitude at 3,380 meters, ground speed at 1,010 kph, with the aircraft on a heading of 117 degrees. Subsequently, the radar signal disappeared, the report shows.

The plane finally crashed into an area near Molang Village under Langnan Township of Tengxian County in the city of Wuzhou, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, killing all 123 passengers and nine crew members on board.

The crash site is located in a valley near the Molang Village. A crater with an area of about 45 square meters and a depth of 2.7 meters has been determined as the main impact point, the report shows.

Major pieces of the plane's wreckage, including the vertical stabilizer, left and right engines and wings, and the landing gear, have been recovered.

The plane's two black boxes were severely damaged in the crash, and data retrieval and analysis are still under way.

The report reveals that the flight's crew and maintenance personnel met the relevant standards and the plane's airworthiness certificate was valid.

There were no items on board that had been declared as dangerous goods, nor any forecasts of dangerous weather, it noted.

Before the plane deviated from the cruising altitude, the radio communications between the crew and the air traffic control department did not show any abnormality.

The investigation team will continue with its work, which includes debris inspection and flight-data analysis, to find out the cause of the accident in a scientific and meticulous manner.

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