China’s aviation regulator releases latest report on investigation progress of China Eastern MU5735 crash


21st March 2023 – (Beijing) China’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), released a report on Monday, March 20th, regarding the latest progress in the investigation of the China Eastern MU5735 crash. The report stated that the case was “very complicated and extremely rare,” and the investigation is still ongoing. Chinese experts said that the investigation will take longer due to the technical complexity and uncertainties faced by the investigation. The technical investigation team has carried out onsite inspection, personnel interviews, and experimental analysis to determine the possible working status of the aircraft’s key control components before the crash. Investigations into maintenance, airline organisation, management work, air traffic control services, airport ground support, security checks, and loading of passengers, luggage, cargo, and dangerous goods have also been conducted. Investigations into the final flight status of the aircraft based on relevant data analysis were also carried out. The investigation cycle of large-scale transport aviation accidents often takes more than one year, and among the more than 1,000 commercial aviation accidents that occurred in the global civil aviation industry in the past 30 years, only 25 percent of them had the final investigation report within one year.

Tuesday (21st) marks the one-year anniversary of the air crash, and the public is eagerly awaiting the authorities’ final investigative report. Shao Quan, Vice Dean of the School of Civil Aviation at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said that due to the technical complexity and uncertainty of the investigation, many technical issues and difficulties need to be repeatedly verified, and some key conclusions require support from engineering experiments. Therefore, the investigation cycle of large transport aviation accidents often exceeds one year. Among the more than 1,000 commercial aviation accidents that have occurred globally in the past 30 years, only 25% have had final investigative reports released within a year.

The involved flight was operated by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft and departed from Kunming Changshui International Airport in Yunnan Province for Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangdong Province at 1.16 pm on the day of the accident. However, 64 minutes later, it deviated from its cruising altitude of 8,900 meters and rapidly descended before crashing near Moli Village, Langnan Town, Tengxian County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, resulting in the deaths of all 123 passengers and nine crew members on board.