China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303

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China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303
CAAC Tupolev Tu-154 Goetting.jpg
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 2015, it remains the deadliest airplane crash ever to occur in mainland China.[5]


Flawed maintenance of the aircraft was 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, 2 from Indonesia, 1 from Singapore, 1 from Malaysia, 3 from France, 1 from Canada, 3 from South Korea, 1 from Vietnam 5 are from Russia.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Airline Crashes in China". The New York Times. June 6, 1994. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ Accident database.
  3. ^ a b Tyler, Patrick E (June 7, 1994). "Jet Crash in China Kills 160; Another Flight Is Hijacked". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "All 160 on board plane killed in China's worst air crash". New Straits Times. June 7, 1994. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network