LONDON – Following the crash of China Eastern Flight MU5735 today, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation has placed the Boeing 737 on a watch list.
According to Outlook India, the DGCA are placing the type on “enhanced surveillance”, as the Chief of the institution, Arun Kumar says:
“Flight safety is serious business and we are closely studying the situation. In the interim, we are focusing on enhanced surveillance of our 737 fleet.”
Recap of the Crash
MU5735 was on a routine flight from Kunming to Guangzhou when the aircraft dropped between 24,000-31,000 feet per minute into the mountains.
Data from RadarBox.com shows that the flight landed in Guangzhou but Chinese media outlet CGTN has confirmed the downing of the aircraft.
It is understood that 132 people onboard, translating to 123 passengers and nine crew members.
The Civil Administration of China has released a statement on the downing of the aircraft:
“Emergency mechanism has been activated, and a working group has been dispatched to the scene”.
B-1791 is a 6.8-year-old Boeing 737-89P(WL) that was delivered to China Eastern back in June 2015. The aircraft was cruising at 29,100 feet before making a rapid descent into the mountain.
Hesitancy of Boeing Aircraft from the DGCA?
The DGCA placing the aircraft family on enhanced surveillance suggests quite a hesitant view of Boeing, especially in the wake of the MAX crisis.
What is key to note is that MU5735 was operated by a Next-Generation (NG) variant of the family and not the MAX.
Unless something as significant as the MAX crisis comes out about this accident, then it may be too early to jump the gun at this stage, especially with no preliminary reports released as of yet.
The NG has been in the skies a lot longer than the MAX but has had some accidents over the years.
On the other hand, placing such enhanced surveillance would be a step in the right direction to make sure another accident doesn’t take place.
But for as long as they continue to operate, there is always the chance this could happen again.
Setting the Framework for Further Action…
Overall, it could be suggested that other authorities like the DGCA may follow suit, but this is highly unlikely given the current and early situation.
Until we get some form of a report on what actually happened in the crash, then no further action can be taken, unless done so prematurely in the wake of distrust of Boeing with the MAX.
But for now, all we can do is wait, sit back and see what the reports say.