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China Northern Airlines Flight 6136

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Title: China Northern Airlines Flight 6136  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: EgyptAir Flight 843, Aviation accidents and incidents in 2002, 2002 crimes in China, Arson in China, Arson attacks on vehicles
Collection: 2002 Crimes in China, 2002 in China, Accidents and Incidents Involving the McDonnell Douglas MD-82, Airliner Accidents and Incidents Caused by in-Flight Fires, Airliner Accidents and Incidents Involving Deliberate Crashes, Arson Attacks on Vehicles, Arson in Asia, Arson in China, Aviation Accidents and Incidents in 2002, Aviation Accidents and Incidents in China, China Northern Airlines Accidents and Incidents, History of Liaoning, Mass Murder in 2002
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

China Northern Airlines Flight 6136

China Northern Airlines Flight 6136
A China Northern Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-82 similar to the aircraft that crashed.
Arson summary
Date May 7, 2002 (2002-05-07) (The same day as EgyptAir Flight 843)
Summary In-flight arson by passenger
Site Bohai Bay, near Dalian, China
Passengers 103
Crew 9
Fatalities 112 (all)
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas MD-82
Operator China Northern Airlines
Registration B-2138

China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 (CBF6136, CJ6136) was a flight from Beijing Capital International Airport 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 cause of the fire was later determined to be arson.


  • Crash 1
  • Accident report 2
  • Aircraft 3
  • Crew members 4


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 (1:40 UTC).

Eyewitnesses on a nearby fishing boat reported that "a plane with fire and smoke crashed into the sea, broken in two parts."

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).

Accident report

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. However, no detailed accident report has been provided, due to its being considered a "highly sensitive" topic in China.

Some rumors report Zhang was a terminally ill cancer patient and/or he was living with a huge debt, but there has been no official confirmation of these rumors.


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.

Crew members

  • Captain: Wang Yongxiang (王永祥 Hanyu Pinyin: Wáng Yǒngxiáng), born in 1959, 11,000 hours flight time.
  • First Officer: Chen Xuming (陈旭明 Chén Xùmíng), born in 1965, 3,300 hours flight time.
  • Flight Mechanic: Pan
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