What do experts think could have caused the horror crash that is feared to have killed all 132 on board?
Experts believe MU5735 likely went down due to a 'loss of control event'.
But they also raised other possibilities that could have downed the jet, including:
High altitude stall
The aircraft may have nosedived due to a 'high altitude stall' which cut off the power. Arthur Rowe, specialist fellow in gas turbine performance and operability centre for propulsion engineering at Cranfield University, said this could have lead to the loss of control event.
Another possible cause was that the controls malfunctioned in the cockpit. Professor Rowe said they may have 'jammed', adding that 'unresponsive control surfaces, especially on the tail', are what could have downed the jet.
There were also fears sabotage could have played a part, but this was deemed unlikely due to it being a domestic flight in China. Professor Rowe said the Covid restrictions on entering the country reduced the chance of this being at play.
Not engine related:
The expert did not believe the plane went down due to any engine related issues. Professor Rowe pointed out that aircraft 'can fly perfectly well with no engine power', but admitted it was only for a limited time.
Sensory issues such as ice protection failures:
Senor issues could also have caused the plane to have spiralled out of control. Tao Yang, associate professor of engineering at Nottingham University, said 'most of the aeroplane accidents are related to sensors failure - ice protection fails'. Source