China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303

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China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303
B-2610, the aircraft involved, in CAAC livery in 1988
Accident summary
Date June 6, 1994
Summary Faulty maintenance, mechanical failure
Site Near Xi'an, P.R. China
34°16′N 108°54′E / 34.267°N 108.900°E / 34.267; 108.900Coordinates: 34°16′N 108°54′E / 34.267°N 108.900°E / 34.267; 108.900
Passengers 146
Crew 14
Fatalities 160
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Tupolev Tu-154M
Operator China Northwest Airlines
Registration B-2610
Flight origin Xianyang Airport (XIY/ZLXY), China
Destination Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (former) (CAN/ZGGG), China

China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303 was a domestic flight from Xi'an to Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.[1] On June 6, 1994, this aircraft, a Tupolev Tu-154M, broke up in-flight and crashed as a result of an autopilot malfunction which caused violent shaking and overstressed the airframe.[2]


Approximately eight minutes after takeoff (ten minutes in some reports), the control tower at Xianyang Airport lost contact with the plane and it crashed in a field 18 miles southeast of the airport.[3][4] All 146 passengers and 14 crew died. As of 2013, it remains the deadliest airplane crash ever to occur in mainland China.[5]


Flawed maintenance of the aircraft is the probable cause of the sequence of events. The previous evening, the autopilot yaw-channel had been erroneously connected to the bank control, and the bank-channel to the yaw controls.[5] Additionally, this incorrect maintenance was not done in a properly approved facility.[citation needed]


Among the passengers, 133 were from mainland China, four were from Italy, three were from Hong Kong, two from the United States, one was from Taiwan, and seventeen were from other countries.[6]


  1. ^ "Airline Crashes in China." The New York Times. June 6, 1994. Retrieved on December 25, 2008.
  2. ^ Accident database.
  3. ^ News report from the New York Times.
  4. ^ News report from the Kingston Gleaner.
  5. ^ a b Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  6. ^ Tyler, Patrick E. "Jet Crash in China Kills 160; Another Flight Is Hijacked." The New York Times. June 7, 1994. Retrieved on December 25, 2008.