What made MU5735 fall out of the sky? Catastrophic 'loss of control event' made Chinese Boeing 737 with 132 people aboard nosedive suddenly from 30,000ft and smash into a mountainside in China with 'no survivors'
A Boeing 737 carrying 132 people that plummeted 30,000ft to the ground and burst into flames in China suffered a catastrophic 'loss of control event', experts have warned. The China Eastern Airlines flight nosedived before smashing into the hillside and erupting in a huge fireball near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county in the southern province of Guangxi - with no sign of survivors. A rescue official reportedly said the plane had completely disintegrated while a fire sparked by the crash ripped through bamboo and trees before being put out.Horrifying CCTV footage emerged on social media supposedly showing the jet racing vertically towards the ground in the moments before the smash. President Xi Jinping said that he was 'shocked' by the incident and immediately ordered an investigation into the cause. It is not yet clear what forced the sudden dip and crash, but aviation experts told MailOnline it may have been 'a loss of control event, possibly following a high altitude stall of the aircraft' or a sensory failure in the cockpit. The plane, flight number MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou, is believed to be a Boeing 737-89P, which is not part of the MAX series that has been dogged by problems in recent years.
The crash will renew calls for China to make its aviation safety record - which is considered good but allegedly sees an underreporting of safety lapses - more transparent. China's Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said the aircraft lost contact over the city of Wuzhou. It had 123 passengers and nine crew on board. State media said earlier there were 133 people on board. The CAAC said in a statement: 'The CAAC has activated the emergency mechanism and sent a working group to the scene.' The Aviation Safety Network said: 'We are following multiple unconfirmed reports about a possible accident involving China Eastern Airlines flight #MU5735 a Boeing 737-89P (B-1791) en route from Kunming to Guangzhou, China.' President Xi said: 'We are shocked to learn of the China Eastern MU5735 accident. Source
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'.