Crash du Boeing de la China Eastern : il s'agit d'un acte délibéré d'un des membres du cockpit, d'après l'enquête

Crash du Boeing de la China Eastern : il s’agit d’un acte délibéré d’un des membres du cockpit, d’après l’enquête

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A China Eastern Airlines Boeing-737-800 commercial plane crashed in southern China on March 21. It was carrying 123 passengers and 9 crew members, they all died. According to the first elements of the investigation, the fall of the plane would result from the action of a person in the cockpit.

A Boeing-737 crashed on March 21 in southern China, near the city of Wuzhou, in the Guangxi region. It connected the cities of Kunming and Canton. If officially, the investigation of the Chinese Administration of the civil aviation (CAAC) follows its course, the Wall Street Journal revealed, this Tuesday, May 17, in its columns that the crash would not be accidental. It would be a deliberate act by one of the crew members.

Suicide or a deliberate act of sabotage?

Information from a black box found after the crash suggests someone activated the controls that caused the descent, according to the business daily, citing people briefed on a preliminary assessment by US officials. As required by international aviation rules, representatives of the United States Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provide technical assistance only.

Contacted, the American agency indicated that it did not want to comment on an investigation led by another authority. Boeing, also citing rules that only the authority in charge of an ongoing investigation can communicate on its progress, also declined to comment.

“The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit”

In its press release at the end of April, the CAAC assured that the qualifications of the crew and the maintenance personnel of the aircraft were “in good standing” as well as the certificate of airworthiness of the aircraft. The company China Eastern had previously said that the pilot and the two co-pilots were not the subject of any suspicion. In general, the Chinese authorities have imposed strict control of information around the disaster.

“The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit,” assured one of the sources of the Wall Street Journal before pointing out that the Chinese authorities had not so far alerted on any mechanical or flight control issues with the aircraft. According to the daily, the American authorities are instead turning their attention to the actions of a pilot, with also the possibility that a third person entered the cockpit.

Aviation experts were puzzled about the causes of the accident, pointing out that this aircraft model is known for its reliability. Some experts interviewed speculated about a possible suicide or deliberate act of sabotage. The intentional crash of a pilot remains an extremely rare act in the recent history of civil aviation, the last notable example being that of a flight of the German company Germanwings on March 24, 2015.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, on anti-depressants, had taken advantage of the captain’s temporary absence from the cockpit to rush the aircraft against the side of a mountain in the French Alps. The crash of the plane, an Airbus A320, had caused the death of 144 passengers and six crew members. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) subsequently recommended better medical monitoring of pilots, in particular through reinforced psychological and toxicological examinations.

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