China Northern Airlines Flight 6136
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|Date||May 7, 2002 (The same day as EgyptAir Flight 843)|
|Summary||In-flight arson by passenger|
|Site||Bohai Bay, near Dalian, China|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas MD-82|
|Operator||China Northern Airlines|
China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 (CBF6136, CJ6136) was a domestic passenger flight from Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing to Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport, in Dalian, Liaoning province, China.
On May 7, 2002 the plane crashed into the bay near Dalian, shortly after the pilot reported "fire on board", killing all 103 passengers and 9 crew members. It was the second air disaster involving PRC aircraft in less than a month, after the Air China Flight 129 disaster on April 15. The crash occurred hours after the crash of an EgyptAir Boeing 737 in Tunis which claimed 14 lives. The cause of the fire was later determined to be arson.
The MD-82 jetliner left gate 06 at 20:22 and took off at 20:37 local time (12:37 UTC) from Runway 36R. At 21:20 local time (13:20 UTC), as the plane neared Dalian, the captain reported "fire in cabin" to Dalian tower and requested an emergency landing. At 21:24 local time (13:24 UTC) the aircraft disappeared from the radar screen and lost contact with air traffic control. It was due to arrive in Dalian at 21:40 local time.
The plane crashed in the water at a 90 degree bank angle and 30 degree nose down pitch killing everyone on board instantly.
At 15:05 local time (07:05 UTC) on May 14, the cockpit voice recorder was picked up by the searchers from the sea, seven days after the disaster. The flight data recorder was picked up the same day at 17:05 local time (09:05 UTC).
Results of the accident investigation were published by the Xinhua News Agency on December 8, 2002. A passenger named Zhang Pilin (张丕林) apparently set fire to the passenger cabin with gasoline, causing the plane to lose control and crash.
Just several days before the disaster, there were reports that a passenger named Zhang Pilin had purchased seven air insurance policies worth a total of 1,400,000 RMB (about 170,000 USD) prior to boarding the flight.
The investigation on the wreckage showed a quantity of gasoline near Zhang's seat, and that most passengers, including Zhang, died of carbon monoxide inhalation. The engine, cabin floor, and other critical parts showed no signs of burning or explosion.
Further investigation showed that Zhang had flown from Dalian to Beijing and returned to Dalian on Flight 6136 the same day. According to the video monitor record, he had spent several hours smoking cigarettes in the waiting hall of Beijing airport. Zhang purchased two insurance policies before leaving Dalian and purchased the remaining five in Beijing. Some water bottles filled with gasoline were also found in Zhang's apartment.
- Model: McDonnell Douglas MD-82
- Registration: B-2138
- MSN/LN: 49522/1702
- Engine: Pratt & Whitney JT8D-217A
- Year of Delivery: 1991
- Flight time: est 26000 hours
Other incident involving this aircraft also occurred over Taiwan in 1993 when it was hijacked nearly the same to flight 2138. That flight departed Qingdao to Fuzhou and divert the plane to Taiwan Strait.
Of the 103 passengers 95 were Chinese, three were Japanese, the remaining five were French, Hong Kongese, Indian, Singaporean, and South Korean.
- 2002 in aviation
- Aviation safety
- Continental Airlines Flight 11 – In-flight bombing caused by insurance fraud
- List of accidents and incidents involving commercial aircraft
- China Northern Airlines Plane Crashes - People's Daily
- Accident database record on airdisaster.com
- Accident aircraft photos from airliners.net