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China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 (CBF6136, CJ6136) was a flight from Beijing Capital International Airportmarker to Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airportmarker, a coastal city in Liaoningmarker province of the People's Republic of Chinamarker.

On May 7, 2002, at the end of a week-long holiday, 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 129marker disaster on April 15.


The MD-82 jetliner took off at 2037 local time (1237 UTC) from Beijing. At 2120 local time (1320 UTC), as the plane neared Dalian, the captain reported "fire in cabin" to Dalian tower and requested an emergency landing. At 2124 local time (1324 UTC) the aircraft disappeared from the radar screen and lost contact with ATC. It was due to arrive Dalian at 2140 local time (1340 UTC).

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

On 1505 local time (0705 UTC) May 14, the cockpit voice recorder was picked up by the searchers from the sea, 7 days after the disaster. The flight data recorder was picked up same day on 1705 local time (0905 UTC).

Accident report

Results of the accident investigation was published by the Xinhua News Agencymarker 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 after 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 the seat of Zhang, 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 CJ6136 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.


Crew members

  • Flight Crew
    • Captain: Wang Yongxiang (王永祥 Hanyu Pinyin: Wáng Yǒngxiáng), born in 1967, 11,000 hours flight time.
    • First Officer: Chen Xuming (陈旭明 Chén Xùmíng), born in 1973, 3,300 hours flight time.
    • Flight Mechanic: Pan Mingqi (潘明奇 Pān Míngqí).
  • Flight Attendants


95 of the 103 on board were Chinesemarker, 2 Japanesemarker, 2 Koreanmarker, 1 Indianmarker, 1 from Singaporemarker, 1 from Hong Kong, SAR and 1 from Francemarker


Weather at the time of crash was clear. There has been no indication that weather conditions led to the accident.

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