Yesterday morning at 7.57am, Shenzhen Airlines flight ZH9209 issued emergency code ‘7700’ and was forced to turn back to Shenzhen. The flight was bound for Xi’an and had been in the air for around 25 minutes when all of sudden a drop in altitude was detected at 7.52am above the Guangzhou control zone.
The plane had begun to drop 5,500 meters in five minutes, after “recording cabin pressure problem at a height of 9,200 meters” reports South China Morning Post. Subsequently the flight code was then changed from ‘7700’ to a normal code, meaning that the emergency situation of the aircraft had been controlled and that the aircraft could land normally.
However, some media outlets reported that the plane had dropped 6,000 meters in two minutes in which a Shenzhen Airlines staff retorted would be impossible as the plane would disintegrate.
The official Weibo account of Shenzhen Airlines stated that ZH9209 returned safely to Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport after experiencing mechanical failure, and that the cause is still under further investigation. Some netizens were very concerned, commenting, “The captain in question, please come out and explain what happened. Can the public not even understand what happened? Will there be an air crash in the future?” while other wished safety for all crew members and passengers.
The aircraft was an Airbus A330-343E passenger aircraft which is around two years old.
Later that day around 7pm another Airbus 330, model 243E also had to make an emergency landing due to mechanical failure after 23 minutes in-flight. Flight MU5274 from Chengdu to Beijing safely landed in Xi’an and departed again just hours later. China Eastern Airlines responded that the failure was mostly likely related to the weather. The A330-243E is around five years old.
[Cover image via Wikimedia]