They find a black box from the crashed plane in China 0:49
Hong Kong (CNN)
So-called black box data recovered from a China Eastern flight that crashed in March suggests someone in the cabin intentionally shot down the plane, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a preliminary assessment by U.S. officials. Joined.
The Boeing 737-800 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou when it plummeted from 8,839.2 meters into the mountains, killing all 132 passengers and crew on board.
It was China's deadliest air disaster in decades.
Information gleaned from the plane's damaged flight data recorder shows that human input commands to the controls led the plane to its deadly fall, according to the Journal, citing people familiar with the investigation.
"The plane did what someone in the cockpit told it to do," the newspaper quoted a person familiar with US officials' preliminary assessment as saying.
The plane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered from the crash and sent to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for analysis Chinese state media reported earlier.
US officials involved in the investigation are focusing on the actions of one pilot, the Journal reported, adding that it's also possible that someone else on the plane broke into the cockpit and deliberately caused the crash.
Chinese investigators have not revealed any mechanical or technical problems in the aircraft that could have caused the accident and that could require additional measures in the sector – as is usual in this type of event – a fact that US officials believe gives credibility. to his assessment, the newspaper reported.
CNN has contacted the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and China Eastern Airlines for comment.
In a statement to the Journal, China Eastern said that no evidence has emerged that could determine whether or not there were problems with the aircraft involved in the accident.
The airline told the Journal that the health and family conditions of the pilots were good, adding that their financial status was also in good shape.
"Any unofficial speculation could interfere with the accident investigation and affect the actual progress of the global air transport industry," the airline told The Wall Street Journal.
Plane with 132 people on board crashes in southern China 1:34
On Wednesday, China's state-run Global Times newspaper quoted a statement from the CAAC, which said it had communicated with NTSB investigators, who denied "disclosing information about the investigation to any media outlets."
According to the Global Times, the CAAC said the investigation is ongoing in a "scientific and rigorous" manner, and pledged to release "timely and accurate" updates.
In a summary of its preliminary report released on April 20, the CAAC said the two black boxes were "severely damaged" and "data analysis and restoration work is still in progress."
The report says that the flight crew and maintenance personnel "complied with the relevant standards" and that there were no items on board that had been declared dangerous goods, nor were there forecasts of dangerous weather.
Before the plane deviated from cruising altitude, radio communications between the crew and the air traffic control department showed no abnormalities, according to the report.
Rumors about a co-pilot intentionally crashing the plane had circulated widely on the Internet in China in early April, with some pointing to the CAAC's comments about the mental health of aviation personnel following the crash.
At a meeting on aviation security on April 6, CAAC director Feng Zhenglin urged Communist Party officials at all levels to "stabilize their teams' thoughts, do their best to solve the problems of employees in their work, life and study, and ensure their physical health" and mental health".
"In particular, officials should do their best in the ideological work of the pilots to lay a solid foundation for the front line to operate safely," Feng said.
Speculation about the suicide of the pilot who caused the crash has previously led the CAAC to issue a denial.
"These rumors... have seriously misled the public and interfered with the investigation of the accident," CAAC official Wu Shijie said at a press conference on April 11, adding that police were conducting investigations to hold those responsible for the rumors accountable.
plane crashBoeing 737China Eastern Airlines