Meanwhile, more than 10 kilometres from the main crash site, a Chinese farmer found what he suspects is a piece of the aircraft. The potential find indicates the challenges investigators face as they piece together answers as to why the six year old plane plunged from the skies.
The farmer, Huang Jianyi has told investigators he found the piece of metal as he was tending his paddy fields in Siwang, a day after the Boeing 737-800 carrying 132 people crashed into mountains in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. According to the official rescue team, the piece found by the farmer is about 1.3 metres long and 10 centimetres wide. Investigating authorities are yet to confirm that the remote plane parts have anything to do with the China Eastern flight.
The finding of a part of the plane, 10 kilometres away from the crash site, could indicate that the plane suffered a catastrophic mid-air break up.
Authorities also shared yesterday that the flight crew sent no emergency code or “unusual” communications before the plane lost contact, pitching down abruptly and going into a steep dive.
The plane was not one of the new, controversial, 737 Max jets, which nearly brought US plane manufacturer Boeing to its knees following two fatal incidents caused by faulty software called MCAS.
But Chinese aviation authorities have decided to ground China’s entire fleet of Boeing 737-800 planes until the investigation of last Monday’s incident is complete. Some 4,989 of the same model have been built by Boeing, out of 7,124 for the entire NG family, making it one of the most popular planes flying in the world. This compares with 10,236 deliveries of the Airbus A320, the single-aisle, short-haul competitor built by Airbus.
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