Tuesday 22 March 2022

China Eastern grounds 737 fleet after crash

CHINA EASTERN A350-941 B-304N (MSN 261)

China Eastern have confirmed it will ground all 102 of its 737-800 models. These normally fly short haul domestic and international routes. 

The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, was delivered to China Eastern direct from Boeing in June 2015 and had been flying for over six years.

The 737-800 is a popular variant of the 737, one of the world’s most widely selling jets. 
Both Qantas and Virgin Australia have the 800s in their fleets but have not yet commented on what they plan to do.
India has said all 737s in the fleets of its airlines will be placed under “enhanced surveillance’ following the Chinese disaster.

The 737-800 is not a 737 Max variant which has been involved in two fatal crashes and was taken out of service for almost two years.

The cause of the plane crash is under investigation and the company will co-operate with the relevant investigations. Flight data of the China Eastern airlines Boeing 737 jet have detailed the terrifying three minutes the passenger plan plummeted from the sky.

In two minutes and fifteen seconds, the plane dropped from a cruising altitude of 29,100ft to 9075ft. The last reported altitude the plane recorded was 3225ft.

The director of aviation consultancy firm Cirium also called the Boeing 737 jet one of the safest planes ever made and struggled to explain how the incident happened. While rescuers are currently accessing the area, no survivors have been reported as of yet. 

“I’m not going to speculate on what happened but if the FlightRadar24 logs are accurate, something seems to have happened abruptly and the plane nose dived from cruising altitude.” he said.

The initial assessments of the tragic crash appears to have left experts baffled. This is due to the fact the Boeing 737 was in the cruise phase of the flight, when accidents are least likely to occur. “Usually the plane is on autopilot during cruise stage. So it is very hard to fathom what happened,” he said.

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