China Eastern Resumes 737-800 Flights


Days before Chinese authorities have said they will release their preliminary investigation into the crash of China Eastern Flight MU5843 last month, the airline has returned its large fleet of Boeing 737-800s to service. China Eastern has 223 of the type and all were grounded when one dove from altitude, recovered briefly and then crashed at high speed into a mountainous area of southern China March 21. The crash killed all 132 people on board.

Government investigators have said they will have a report to the International Civil Aviation Organization within 30 days of the crash. While the investigation has gone on, the airline has checked all its 737-800s, looking at structural integrity, system checks and test flights. Most of the planes have been checked but the airline is looking especially closely at aircraft with serial numbers close to that of the crash airplane.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. MARCH 21 TO APRIL 18 is 28 days…so we get a report on Wed. or Thur.? Don’t we usually see preliminary FDR / CVR reports/data within a couple weeks after recovery? Why nothing from the FDR / CVR. Is China suppressing the information?

  2. My prediction; The Chinese authorities will report that no usable information was recovered from the FDR or CVR because the cause of the crash would reflect poorly on Chinese commercial aviation and the role of the Chinese civil aviation authority in the oversight of China Eastern

  3. My suspicion is they were able to prove to themselves that the crash was not mechanically induced and the plane was an innocent victim as well as all aboard.

    I doubt they will share any truthful information.

    • Careful William, I mentioned in a past post that it was a homicide and all hell broke lose. As a result, the author wrote a new piece telling everyone that its a really bad thing to opine about aircraft accidents. You might be close to committing a moral crime by posting what you just posted.

      • I interpreted “the new piece” as “the author” encouraging folks to wait for official investigation results before publicly accusing the crew of homicide. It’s simply a professional discipline, no more and no less than that. You would want the same consideration if you went down in an unusual unexplainable way in your C340. Most of us here would grant you that consideration.

  4. Oh, and I still believe a pilot flew the airplane into the ground. Homicide is defined as “death at the hands of another”. No malice is required.

  5. With the information presented, to conclude that the most likely possibility is that the pilot drove the plane into the ground is reasonable.

    With that said we all need to be, and are open to changing our preliminary thoughts pending reliable contradictory data.

    I believe it is unlikely China will disseminate that data even if it becomes available.