Report: Plane Crashed Into the Earth Intentionally

Sources tell 'WSJ' what US officials reportedly determined about China Eastern crash
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2022 1:14 PM CDT
Report: 'Someone in the Cockpit' Caused Plane to Dive
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, workers search through debris at the China Eastern flight crash site in southern China on Thursday, March 24, 2022.   (Lu Boan/Xinhua via AP, File)

When a China Eastern Boeing 737-800 crashed into the earth in March, the impact caused a 65-foot-deep crater and smashed the plane into tens of thousands of pieces, some of them buried underground by the force. The Wall Street Journal now reports on a preliminary assessment of what caused that catastrophic impact, which killed all 132 people aboard: an intentional choice, sources close to US officials' initial assessment tell the paper. That assessment factored in an analysis of what was pulled from the damaged flight-data recorder, and the data it held suggested "inputs to the controls" caused the dive, as the Journal puts it. "The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit," says one of the sources.

What isn't clear is whether such an action would have been committed by the pilots or by a passenger or crew member who forced themselves into the cockpit, though in response to questions about whether this was a possibility, China Eastern noted there was no emergency code activated that would have indicated this occurred. The airline has reiterated that thus far it has determined those piloting the plane were in good health, with stable families and no financial troubles. Barron's reports Boeing stock jumped on the news. It was trading up about 6% as of this writing. Indeed, the Journal notes that its sources say no one inside Boeing and no regulars are said to be working on service bulletins or safety directives related to the crash, suggesting they have uncovered nothing concerning that airlines and crew need to know about the plane. (More plane crash stories.)

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