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Published on Friday, July 13, 2018

Co-pilot 'vaping' in cockpit caused jet to plummet

An initial investigation by China's air regulator claims a co-pilot who was vaping in the cockpit caused an Air China plane to plummet.

Flight CA106 flying from Hong Kong to Dalian on Tuesday dropped about 21,000 feet, causing oxygen masks to be deployed in the cabin for all passengers.

Investigators say the co-pilot tried to hide the fact that he was smoking an e-cigarette but accidentally turned off the air-conditioning, instead of a fan, causing oxygen levels to fall.

The pilots took the plane down to 10,000 which is standard practice in such circumstances but then returned to cruising altitude later in the flight.

No injuries were reported and the plane landed safely in Dalian.

Air China had earlier said: "If the investigation reveals that the crew has violated regulations, the company will seriously deal with the responsible person with zero tolerance," an airline statement said.

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