Second data recorder is found for China Eastern flight 5735

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The second flight data recorder.
Image: China News Service.
Flight path of MU5735 on March 21.
Image: Berrely.

On Sunday, rescue workers recovered the flight data recorder from China Eastern Airlines flight 5735 in Guangxi, China after officials confirmed the previous evening the March 21 crash had no survivors.

The flight data recorder, one of two so-called 'black boxes', was found 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) under the surface of the mountainous region at 9:20 China Standard Time (1:20 UTC). The other, the cockpit voice recorder, was recovered earlier on Wednesday. Both are subject to analysis by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in Beijing.

MU5735 crashed last Monday approximately one hour into a domestic route from Kunming to Guangzhou with 132 people on board: 123 passengers and nine crew. For unknown reasons, the Boeing 737-800 went into a nosedive, losing over 29,000 feet (8,839 m) in altitude in a very short time. The pilots were unresponsive to air traffic control. The high-speed impact created a 20 meter (65.6 ft) crater and widespread debris.

Late Saturday evening, aviation officials confirmed the crash had no survivors. So far, 120 victims have been identified through DNA analysis. Identification and bank cards were also being recovered by crews sifting through the wreckage. CAAC deputy director-general Hu Zhenjiang said the search for remains would continue.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a full investigation. Going forward, the effort will be led by the CAAC and assisted by the United States National Transportation Safety Board and Boeing.

On Sunday afternoon, all rescue workers and attending police and soldiers observed three minutes of silence, removing their hats and helmets and bowing their heads.

China Eastern and its subsidiary airlines have grounded all their 737-800 aircraft out of precaution, though not suspecting a fault with the aircraft.