The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Wednesday that there were no technical irregularities or pilot errors that led to China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735 crashing into the mountains of Guangxi on March 21.
The report has also stated that the data from both black boxes has not yet been extracted. Investigators have said that the boxes are badly damaged and that their content may be unsalvageable.
However, black boxes are said to be virtually indestructible devices which are built to survive crashes.
After the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in 2014, Scott Hamilton, director of aviation consulting company Leeham Co., told NPR:
"It is extremely rare for a black box to be destroyed. Black boxes have traditionally outperformed their design. It would take a concentrated fire beyond its design strength, or an impact so high that it would be beyond what it could withstand."
He went on to say that he cannot think of a case in which both devices have been damaged to the point of there being no useful data.
No conclusions as to what caused the crash or why it suddenly descended into the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, killing all 132 people on board, were offered.
The report, which was required to publish its findings within 30 days of the crash, was filed by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Only the summary was released to the public.
Earlier this month, Global Times reported the CAAC dispelled rumors that the analysis of data from the black boxes of Flight MU5735 had been completed and that the co-pilot was responsible for the crash.
The CAAC said that the rumors, which also claimed that the CAAC had called for pilots to undergo mandatory mental health assessments, were started online by people falsely using the name of government bodies and public security bureaus.
Flight MU5735 was en route from Kunming to Guangzhou on March 21. At 2.20pm the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 jetliner, diverged from its assigned altitude. At this point, Guangzhou’s air traffic controllers tried to contact the crew, but they were unresponsive.
At 2.21pm, Guangzhou’s area control radar lost signal with the plane after its altitude had dropped from 8,900 meters to 3,380 meters, traveling at a speed of 1,010 kilometers per hour.
Search and rescue teams were deployed to the area in an attempt to salvage the wreckage, the plane’s two black boxes and search for survivors.
READ MORE: WATCH: Flight MU5735 Black Box Found
The two black boxes were recovered one week into the search. The cockpit black box, which records audio, was found first. The second black box, which collects data such as the movements of the plane, was found a few days after.
READ MORE: Flight MU5735: A Search and Rescue Diary
[Cover image via Weibo@中国新闻网]