The China Airlines jet that crash-landed at Chek Lap Kok last Sunday was involved in an incident seven years ago which sparked fears over how it would cope with turbulence. As investigators sifted the wreckage of the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, the South China Morning Post discovered the same aircraft pitched violently and stalled at more than 30,000 feet after hitting 'moderate turbulence' in skies over Japan, on October 7, 1992. When Flight CI642 crash-landed on Sunday night, a No 8 signal was hoisted as fierce winds from Typhoon Sam lashed the runway. Until now speculation as to the cause has focused on possible confusion between the pilot and co-pilot. But fresh evidence makes it likely investigators will also look closely at the design of the aircraft and its history. A Civil Aviation Department spokesman said the plane, which crashed on Sunday, had the same registration number - B-150 - as the one involved in the 1992 incident. It was bound for Anchorage, Alaska, from Taipei with 265 passengers and crew, when the pilots lost control during turbulence. The plane lurched up and down by as much as 4,000 feet for 10 minutes before the crew regained control. When it landed at Anchorage seven hours later, the jet had suffered 'substantial damage' to its left and right tail flaps. China Airlines had taken delivery of the jet from the manufacturer two months before in October 1992. The aircraft was repaired in four days and had flown since without problems. An aviation insurer's accident report, which contained details of the United States National Transportation Safety Board's investigation into the incident, said: 'While in normal cruising flight . . . the aircraft encountered moderate turbulence. The auto-pilot disengaged and the pilot took over manual control but could not maintain altitude or speed. 'The aircraft descended and climbed between FL310 [31,000 feet] and FL350 [35,000 feet], while at the same time experiencing considerable airspeed fluctuations. 'This continued for about 10 minutes before normal flight was resumed.' The board - which has despatched investigators to probe Sunday's crash - said a pilot not specifically trained to handle the plane under adverse circumstances, such as moderate-to-severe turbulence, might over-control the plane, leading to significant pitch, airspeed deviations and stalls. The MD-11's fuel-efficient design places some tanks in the tail section, shifting the centre of gravity. That leads to the stability of the aircraft becoming what aviation experts have called 'relaxed'. Aviation specialist Stephen Miller said: 'It would be fair to say that the aircraft has a certain reputation in the industry in this regard.' A China Airlines spokesman in Taipei said he did not have any information about the 1992 incident and referred inquiries to a colleague who did not return calls.