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The part that could reveal the cause of the vertical fall of the Chinese plane

The screw driver controlling the horizontal tail could help determine why China Eastern’s Boeing 737 crashed almost vertically, experts said.

China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735 carrying 123 passengers and 9 crew crashed in Teng county, Wuzhou city, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, southern China, on the afternoon of March 21. The incident shocked many aviation experts and could not explain why the plane fell to the ground in an almost vertical direction.

Data by flight tracking site Flightradar24 The data collected showed that the plane suddenly dived while hurtling at an altitude of nearly 9,000 meters at around 2:20 p.m. on March 21, more than an hour after takeoff. The plane stabilized for 10-20 seconds at an altitude of over 2,000 meters, then continued to descend at nearly 600 km/h in the last few seconds.

Chinese plane crashes with 132 people on board

Video on social media showed the plane crashing vertically on March 21. Videos: weibo.

“It’s very hard to explain. Planes don’t normally fall vertically like that unless there is serious damage such as a broken wing, a missile hit, a collision with another plane or the pilot deliberately dives,” said Australian aviation expert Neil Hansford. .

Flight data show that MU5735 crashed suddenly and nearly fell vertically.  Photo: Sun.

Cruise data showed the plane descended sharply and crashed almost vertically. Photo: Sun.

Experts believe that a component may be the key to solving the mystery of the flight crash of MU5735.

Juan Browne, a Boeing 777 pilot and well-known vlogger who analyzes flight incidents, said the condition of the screw controlling the plane’s horizontal tail could help investigators determine the cause. Browne thought that even during a dive, the wings could generate enough lift to prevent them from falling vertically.

“There’s only one thing that can cause the plane to dive vertically and maintain this position, which is the horizontal tail assembly. If you find a screw in the jack, officers can determine its condition. Prick the tail of the plane before it hits the ground,” Browne said.

The screw sockets are used to adjust the plane’s horizontal tail, helping the plane to tilt its head up or down. “The horizontal tail could have locked in a certain position, causing it to continue to dive,” Browne said, adding that the plane would continue to rise and fall if there were no problems with this passage.

Jack screw working mechanism.  Image:

Jack screw working mechanism. graphic:

The two black boxes, including the cockpit voice recorder and flight information, will also help uncover many clues that led to the crash.

Accidents in the cruise phase, which is stable at altitude and speed, are also relatively rare. A report released by Boeing last year said that only 13% of fatal air accidents globally between 2011-2020 occurred during the cruise flight phase.

“From a technical point of view, this shouldn’t have happened. Airplanes often use autopilot during the cruise phase. It’s hard to imagine what happened,” said Chinese aviation expert Li Xiaojin, raising the point.

The part that could reveal the reason the Chinese plane crashed vertically

The screw socket (black) controls the vertical tail wing position on the Boeing 737NG aircraft. Videos: Youtube/Anders Cornelius Olesen.

Arthur Rowe, an aircraft expert in Australia, also ruled out an engine malfunction. “Civil aircraft can fly normally after the engine shutdown, although not for long. The collision was like losing control after losing speed at altitude. The causes are many, such as a jammed or unresponsive rudder, especially the tail wing assembly. , as well as the wrong autopilot setting,” he said.

It was the first air crash in China since a plane crash in Yichun city, Heilongjiang province, in 2010, killed 44 people.

After the accident in Yichun, China’s aviation spent 4,227 safe flight days, setting a record in the history of civil aviation in the world. China’s aviation industry has also been among the safest in the world for the past 10 years.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, on February 19, the continuous safe flight time of the country’s civil aviation industry has exceeded 100 million hours, which is the best safety record in Chinese aviation history. aviation in the history of global civil aviation.

Vu Anh (Based on, AFP)

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