Oxygen masks dropped from an overhead panel when the CA106 flight of Air China suddenly lost control en route to Dalian, July 10, 2018. (Photo/Thepaper)
(ECNS) - A preliminary investigation showed that smoking by the co-pilot in the cockpit caused a mid-air plunge by Air China’s flight CA106 on Tuesday, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The flight from Hong Kong to Dalian in Liaoning Province dropped from 10,600 meters to 3,500 meters in 12 minutes before it climbed to 8,000 meters in 55 minutes. The plane’s loss of altitude mid-flight prompted release of oxygen masks. The aircraft did not divert and continued on its journey, landing safely in Dalian.
The administration said on Friday that smoke from the co-pilot’s electronic cigarette went into the cabin, and the air-conditioning components were shut down incorrectly without the pilot being aware, resulting in a shortage of oxygen in the cabin and triggering the mid-flight warning.
Details are being investigated and verified, said the administration, adding those found responsible will be severely punished according to the law.