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CRASH: China Eastern 737 Lost With 132 On Board

By Spyros Georgilidakis | March 21, 2022

Chinese media is confirming that a China Eastern 737 flight crashed near the city of Wuzhou. Unfortunately, there are no reports of survivors.

CRASH: China Eastern 737 Lost With 132 On Board
The accident aircraft. Photo (cropped): Alec Wilson, CC BY-SA 2.0

The incident happened on the 21st of March and involves China Eastern flight MU5735. This appears to be a daily two-leg service. It originates in Baoshan Yunduan (ZPBS), stopping at Kunming Changshui International (ZPPP), then continuing to Guangzhou Baiyun International (ZGGG).

The 737 in this accident appears to have been performing the second leg of this China Eastern flight. It seems that the flight departed on time, using runway 21 in Kunming. It then climbed to FL291 (8,900 metres) in cruise, according to online tracking sites. Initial reports stated that there were 133 people on board.

https://twitter.com/aviationbrk/status/1505835466943352836?s=20&t=cvYAFp65PkXdQwMR8-SZVA

 

Crash Site of the China Eastern 737

Newer sources state that there were 123 passengers and nine crew on this China Eastern flight. According to Chinese state media, the aircraft crashed near Teng County’s Wuzhou city, in the Guangxi province. This is approximately 120 miles west of the flight’s destination, very close to their top of descent. The circumstances of the crash are still unclear. It took place at around 14:22 local time, 06:22 UTC.

https://twitter.com/AviationSafety/status/1505815992366206976?s=20&t=MlUE5cZvWx7bnYYuS99lCg

Images and video purporting to be from the crash, seem to indicate that the aircraft broke up on impact, following a very rapid descent. According to ADS-B data, the China Eastern 737 had a rate of descent of nearly 31,000 feet per minute, in its last moments. Also, it appears that there was a forest fire at the site of the crash. Local sources state that emergency fire and rescue forces are assembling and approaching the area.

At this time, there is no official word on the casualties, on the aircraft or on the ground. The accident aircraft is a China Eastern 737-89P(WL) with tail number B-1791. It is just under seven years old, entering service in June 2015. China Eastern was its first and only operator. It had seats for 162 passengers.

Accident aircraft. Photo (cropped): Shadman Samee, CC BY-SA 2.0

Update: China Eastern Airlines has confirmed the crash of this 737. The airline also opened a hotline (4008495530), for the relatives of people on board. Tragically, it appears that this is China’s first fatal accident in nearly 12 years. The last such accident was in 2010, involving a Henan Airlines E-190.

We will update this article with more information, as soon as it is available.

 

737-800 Grounded?

China’s President Xi Jinping called for an investigation on the accident to begin immediately. Boeing has also issued a statement, indicating that it is working with the authorities. At this time, there are over 600 responders on the site, some to control the fires on the ground. They have reportedly extinguished the fire already.

China Eastern has reportedly decided to ground all 737-800s in its fleet, following the crash. The airline has 108 of these aircraft. The only type the airline has in greater numbers is the A320, with 177. China Eastern also has 38 737-700s.

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6 comments

  • I am sorry this looks like rogue or suicidal pilot or intruder in the cockpit. I don’t know what else would cause a 30,000 ft nose dive in 3 minutes on a very reliable 737-800. This is the generation prior to the problematic Max. Yes the 737 did have some problems in the 90’s with rudder hard over from the jack screw locking up.
    Do we know if they were having any trouble or declared an emergency or pan pan pan? The fact that this in China is concerning because of their less than reliable and not forth coming information. Will China allow our investigators from the NTSB and Boeing to come to the scene or give access to flight information? I hope this does not turn political and China try to blame the US for the crash and partner with Russia for political nonsense against the US.

  • Let’s just hope the black box is still intact. After the presumed impact that the aircraft made, what is the chance of being irreparably damaged?

  • I agree too. Mine filled with ads about importing Slavic women, etc ..

  • Really didn’t want to post this publicly but I couldn’t find any other way to do it. 🙁

  • GRAHAM MIDDLETON

    Good Call Greg. Those ads are intrusive and irrelevant. (The page I’m reading is plastered with Energy Meter ads. 🙄)

  • Is it possible to remove inline ads from articles in the accident report category on the website? If anyone related to victims goes to the article, it might be a little less harsh that way?

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