plane wreckage
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 11, 2024 ·  4 min read

‘Human-Induced Event’: Experts Reveal Horrifying Likely Causes Of Boeing 737 That Plunged Into Ground

A Boeing 737 nose-dived into the ground in the mountains of Southern China. It was a passenger plane with 132 people on board. While an investigation is still underway, experts are saying that this likely wasn’t related to an aircraft failure. Rather, they think it was a human-induced event. This is why.

Experts Say That China Plane Crash Was Likely A Human-Induced Event

A dashcam from a nearby highway caught a horrifying plane crash in Southern China. The video shows the plane quite literally making a vertical nose-dive straight into the ground. The circumstances of the way the plane crashed, however, don’t quite make sense to experts. (1)

The plane was cruising at 29,000 feet. It was approaching the moment when it would begin adjusting to make its descent. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the plane drops almost perfectly vertically into the ground. It plunged more than 20,000 feet in less than one minute. In the video, you can see the moment the plane collides with the ground. It bursts into a cloud of smoke and flames. (2)

Emergency responders were dispatched immediately to the crash site. Unfortunately, the plane all but disintegrated upon impact. There were no survivors to be found.

Strange Circumstances

Experts, however, are rather confused about the incident. The way that the plane suddenly dove towards the ground and with such velocity doesn’t really make sense. Especially from cruising altitude, where it is very rare to have fatal accidents. 

Many people immediately put the focus on the Boeing aircraft and its safety. The crash, however, is the first for airline China Eastern in 30 years. Australian aviation expert Neil Hansford says that it is highly unlikely that a technical issue caused this crash.

“Even with total loss of power, no aircraft plummets to the ground from 20,000 feet in two minutes with an event at 8,000 feet,” Hansford explained. “I think aircraft technical failure can be ruled out and it will be an external event … I would get on a Boeing 737-800 in an instant with an Australian carrier, so my suggestion would be it won’t be Boeing or aircraft technical related.”

Hansford says there are four possible scenarios, however, several of them seem unlikely to him. One option is that the pilot passed out. This doesn’t really make sense, though, because the other non-flying pilot wouldn’t be able to step in and assist. Other options include pilot suicide, a mid-air collision with military craft, the plane being struck by a missile, or an onboard explosion.

“My tipping is a human-induced event or bought down by rogue missile. Debris looks like MH117 over Ukraine, and the Chinese are providing too much information this time which is uncharacteristic.” Hansford said.

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More Information

The investigators are reviewing the flight data that is currently available. The data suggest that one or more of the pilots regained consciousness for about 10 to 20 seconds and tried to save the plane. UK aviation expert Sally Gethin says that all 132 passengers would have been unconscious during the plunge. Though pilots are trained for these scenarios, the real world can be much more difficult to control.

“In the real world, they can get overwhelmed or disorientated by sudden events. This is known as the startle effect, and it is very hard to train for that,”  she explained. “Even experienced pilots can be caught off guard and that’s when they can make poor judgments. Now there are efforts to recognise that and offer additional training.”

One thing that Gethin noted that was unusual is that the co-pilot had 30,000 hours of flight experience, while the pilot had only 7,000. There was also a pilot in training with just a few hundred hours on board the flight.

Expert Geoffrey Thomas says that the cockpit crew gave no warning of the crash before it began. To him, this means one of two scenarios. Either it was a catastrophic failure due to a major structural failure or a bomb, or, pilot suicide. Currently, the investigators are searching for the two black boxes that will contain the last information of what happened leading up to and during the crash. The aircraft involved, experts say, is one of the safest and most reliable in the world. One black box has been located, though it is severely damaged.

“The exterior appearance of the black box is severely damaged,” said Mao Yanfeng, director of the accident investigation division of the Civil Aviation Authority of China “Once both recorders are found and sent to the lab for analysis, we will be able to know more about the cause of the accident.” (3)

Both Chinese investigators and American ones are investigating the crash. This is because though the crash happened in Chinese territory, it involved an American-produced aircraft. (4)

Keep Reading: Flight Attendant Explains Why We Really Shouldn’t Wear Shorts On A Plane


  1. Expert weighs in on what brought down China Eastern flight MU5735.” News. Vanessa Brown. March 22, 2022.
  2. Chinese Boeing jet crashes in mountains with 132 on board, no sign of survivors.” Reuters. Martin Quin Pollard. March 21, 2022.
  3. Officials find ‘severely damaged’ black box recorder at site of China Eastern Airlines plane crash.” USA Today. Candy Stanton. March 23, 2022.
  4. Boeing jets under ‘surveillance’ after China crash.” BBC. Annabelle Liang. March 2022.