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 Mechanical failure due to improper maintenance
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 (all)
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] Faulty maintenance was believed to be the cause.


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 (29 km) southeast of the airport.[3][4] All 146 passengers and 14 crew died. As of 2016, 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—Mark Woodrum and Mark Stoel, one from Taiwan, two from Indonesia, one from Singapore, one from Malaysia, three from France, one from Canada, three from South Korea, one from Vietnam, and five were from Russia.

Nationality Passengers Crew Total
 China 119 14 133
 Italy 4 0 4
 Hong Kong 3 0 3
 United States 2 0 2
 Taiwan 1 0 1
 Indonesia 2 0 2
 Singapore 1 0 1
 Malaysia 1 0 1
 France 3 0 3
 Canada 1 0 1
 South Korea 3 0 3
 Vietnam 1 0 1
 Russia 5 0 5
Total 146 14 160



  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