ADS-B records of the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 that crashed on Monday indicated that the aircraft had rapidly lost altitude, but video footage released in China shows the jet dived at high speed.
The wreckage of the aircraft, which was carrying flight MU5735 between Kunming and Guangzhou, was scattered over a large area of forest near the city of Wuzhou. According to Chinese media, there are no survivors among the 132 people on board.
The aircraft B-1791 registration is quite recent, having flown for the first time almost six years ago. A serious problem in this phase of flight (descent) is quite uncommon, and diving even more unlikely.
Because of this, China Eastern Airlines has decided to suspend the operation of its more than 100 Boeing 737-800 jets until more information about the accident, one of the worst ever in the country, emerges.
737 MAX still grounded in China
Although the 737-800 NG does not share systems and equipment that caused the 737 MAX to be grounded after two fatal accidents, analysts believe that the return of operation of the new Boeing jet in China will eventually be delayed.
China has yet to approve the 737 MAX’s return to commercial service, which was expected in the coming weeks – the nation was the first to land it shortly after the second crash three years ago in Ethiopia.
There are about 140 737 MAX jets ready for Chinese customers, said Reuters, which has heard from experts who believe the CAAC, China’s civil aviation authority, may delay releasing the aircraft until they get some answers about flight MU5735.