Facts about the Boeing 737, the China Eastern Airlines Plane that crashed

An airplane made by the United States (US) company Boeing was again involved in an accident. This time, the Boeing 737, carrying 132 people, crashed in Guangxi Province, China on Monday (21/3/2022).

Until now, the cause of the accident on the Boeing aircraft operated by China Eastern Airlines on flight MU5735 is not yet known. The plane is said to have been in service since 2015.

The Boeing 737 has faced many safety status issues over the past three years. The Boeing 737 Max series was given a grounded status for a long time after a number of accidents. However, as it turned out, the type of plane that crashed on Monday was a different version of the plane.

Here are facts from the Boeing 737 that crashed on Monday.

1. The aircraft type 737-800

The China Eastern Airlines plane that crashed was a Boeing 737-800. This is the most common version of the Boeing aircraft now in service. This type of aircraft is also widely relied on by many airline fleets around the world.

According to aviation analysis firm Cirium, there are 4,502 Boeing 737-800 aircraft now in service worldwide. That makes it the most commonly used Boeing aircraft today.

It is also the most common aircraft model in the United States, where there are 795 aircraft in service, and also in China, which has 1,177 aircraft in service. It is also the second most common aircraft used worldwide, behind the A320 made by Boeing’s European rival, Airbus.

Quoted from CNN, Wednesday (23/3/2022), the 737-800 is an older model aircraft that has been replaced by the 737 Max.

2. There have been security issues before

Boeing began deliveries of the 737-800 in 1998 but has not delivered a civilian version of the aircraft since sending two to China Eastern in January 2020.

The Boeing 737-800 is part of a class of Boeing jets known as the 737-NG (Next Generation). US regulators have stated that these “Next Generation” aircraft have safety issues, but there are no issues that require the aircraft to be grounded.

In 2018, a passenger died on a Boeing 737-700, another plane in the Next Generation family. In the crash, the engine fan blades on a Southwest Airlines flight broke and caused the engine cover to hit the side of the plane.

It shattered one of the windows, and the cabin quickly lost pressure. The crew was able to land the plane safely, but a woman sitting next to the window died.

In 2019, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that Boeing redesign part of the plane’s engine cover to prevent it from flying into the plane in the event of a similar malfunction. Boeing agreed to make changes.

On some older aircraft, the parts used to hold the wings together were found to be cracked. The crack had prevented several 737 NG planes from flying.

Another fatal crash, involving a 737-800, occurred when the plane landed in bad weather and missed or skidded off the runway. Another plane was shot from the sky by a missile in Iran in 2020.

3. Boeing’s Response

According to the Aviation Safety Network, there has been no fatal accident involving a Chinese airline since 2010. In response to the latest crash in China, Boeing issued a statement Monday saying it was cooperating with US and Chinese security authorities.

“Our thoughts are with the passengers and crew of China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735,” the company said. “We work with our airline customers and stand ready to support them. Boeing is in touch with the US National Transportation Safety Board and our technical experts are on hand to assist the investigation led by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.”

Leave a Comment