China Northern Airlines Flight 6901

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China Northern Airlines Flight 6901
China Northern Airlines MD-82.JPG
B-2140, sister-ship to the accident aircraft
Date November 13, 1993
Summary Pilot error (Controlled flight into terrain)
Site Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China
43°54′26″N 87°28′27″E / 43.90722°N 87.47417°E / 43.90722; 87.47417Coordinates: 43°54′26″N 87°28′27″E / 43.90722°N 87.47417°E / 43.90722; 87.47417
Passengers 92
Crew 10
Fatalities 12
Injuries (non-fatal) 60
Survivors 90
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas MD-82
Operator China Northern Airlines
Registration B-2141

China Northern Airlines Flight 6901 (CJ6901) was a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 airliner from Beijing's Capital International Airport to Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport in Xinjiang, China. On November 13, 1993, it crashed on approach to Ürümqi Airport. Twelve of the 102 passengers and crew on board were killed. The accident has been attributed to pilot error.


While on final approach, the autopilot automatically disconnected. The Captain proceeded to reengage it, believing that it would still be in APP mode. When activated however, the autopilot went into VERT SPD mode with a setting of -800 feet per minute. The crew's failure to disconnect the autopilot and manually land the airplane contributed to the accident. Another factor was the crew's lack of proficiency in English. When the GPWS issued an aural alarm, the captain asked his first officer what the words "Pull up" meant. The first officer replied that he did not know. Consequently, the pilots ignored the warnings and failed to correct their excessive rate of descent, causing the plane to strike power lines and a wall before coming down in a field.


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