Ten days ago, I shared my initial thoughts on China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou, China on March 21, 2022. Near the area where the descent to Guangzhou should have started, the flight abruptly entered a steep dive and crashed in hilly terrain.


As of my first post, searchers had located only the cockpit voice recorder (CVR). The flight data recorder (FDR) has since been recovered and both “black boxes” have been sent to Beijing for analysis as part of the investigation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The aircraft was a Boeing 737-800 (not a previously grounded 737-MAX model). Because the airplane was built in the United States, the CAAC invited a team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to participate in this investigation. NTSB investigators have begun working on the investigation. China waived its mandatory quarantine period, and the NTSB team will limit contact with people outside the investigation.

Information from the damaged CVR was sent to the manufacturer in the U.S. for analysis. Information from the CVR may explain why Chinese air traffic controllers failed to get a response from the flight deck during the final minutes of flight.

CAAC officials said a preliminary investigation report would be completed within 30 days of the crash. The final report may take a year or longer. I’ll update again when other significant information becomes available.

Thanks for reading today.