No plane crash for nearly six years in China

August 25th, 2010 - 12:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 25 (IANS) China had kept a remarkable air travel safety record of 2,100 days or 69 months without accidents before a passenger plane crash in Heilongjiang province Tuesday night, official figures have revealed.
More than five years ago, a CRJ-200 jet, owned by China Eastern Airlines, crashed shortly after take-off into a park in Baotou city, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, killing all 53 people on board, say statistics from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

A short-distance passenger plane carrying 96 people on board crashed during landing at the Lindu airport in Yichun city, killing 42 people, officials said early Wednesday. The Brazil-made ERJ-190 jet is owned by Henan Airlines, Xinhua reported.

The CAAC had pledged to focus on streamlining the industry’s safety systems in 2010 and had set high safety goals. But all of that ended with the Tuesday night crash in Yichun.

Though there is no official account yet of what caused the crash, technical problems have cropped up among Chinese carriers using ERJ-190 jets.

Last June, the CAAC discussed problems concerning the imported ERJ-190 jets with domestic carriers, including Kunpeng Airlines (the predecessor of Henan Airlines), at a workshop.

Breaks of the turbine plates and erroneous information displayed in the flight control system were among the most prominent problems, notes from the workshop show.

China is one of the world’s largest aircraft consumer markets. An industry report conducted by Aviation Industry Corporation of China in 2008 shows that China needs to add 3,815 aircraft, including 2,822 large jets, to its civil aviation fleet before 2027.

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