According to the Journal, citing people familiar with the probe, information extracted from the plane’s damaged flight data recorder shows that human input commands to the controls sent the plane into its fatal plunge.
“The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit,” the Journal said, quoting a person familiar with US officials’ preliminary assessment.
The plane’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered from the crash and sent to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington DC for analysis, officials said. Chinese state media earlier.
US officials involved in the investigation are focusing on the actions of one pilot, the Journal reported, adding that it is also possible that someone else on the plane broke into the cockpit and caused deliberately the accident.
Chinese investigators have not revealed any mechanical or technical issues with the plane that could have caused the crash and may require further action across the industry – as is usually the case in such occurrences. – a fact that US officials believe gives credibility to their assessment, according to 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 no evidence has emerged that could determine whether or not there were issues with the plane involved in the crash. The airline told the Journal that the health and family conditions of the pilots were good, and added that their financial situation was also good.
“Any unofficial speculation may interfere with the accident investigation and affect the actual progress of the global airline industry,” the airline told the Journal.
According to the Global Times, the CAAC said the investigation was continuing in a “scientific and rigorous” manner, and pledged to issue “prompt 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 restoration and analysis work is still ongoing.”
The report states that the flight crew and maintenance personnel “were meeting applicable standards” and that there were no items on board that had been declared as dangerous goods, and that there were no forecasts. dangerous weather conditions.
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 that a co-pilot intentionally crashed the plane circulated widely on the internet in China in early April, with some highlighting CAAC’s remarks about the mental health of aviation personnel after the crash.
“In particular, officials should do their best in the pilots’ ideological work to lay a solid foundation for the front line to operate safely,” Feng said.
Speculation about the suicide of the pilot responsible for the accident has already prompted the CAAC to issue a denial. “These rumors (…) have seriously misled the public and interfered with the accident investigation,” Wu Shijie, a CAAC official, said at a press conference on April 11, adding that the police were carrying out investigations to hold the peddlers responsible for the rumours.