ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev Tu-154M B-2610 Xian-Xianyang International Airport (XIY)
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Date:Monday 6 June 1994
Type:Silhouette image of generic T154 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Tupolev Tu-154M
Operator:China Northwest Airlines
Registration: B-2610
MSN: 86A740
First flight: 1986
Total airframe hrs:12507
Engines: 3 Soloviev D-30KU-154-II
Crew:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 14
Passengers:Fatalities: 146 / Occupants: 146
Total:Fatalities: 160 / Occupants: 160
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:29 km (18.1 mls) SE of Xian-Xianyang International Airport (XIY) (   China)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Xian-Xianyang International Airport (XIY/ZLXY), China
Destination airport:Guangzhou-Baiyun Airport (CAN/ZGGG), China
A Tupolev 154M operated by China Northwest Airlines as flight 2303 from Xian (XIY) to Guangzhou (CAN) was destroyed in an accident after takeoff from Xian. All 146 passengers and 14 crew members were killed.
The aircraft took off from Xianyang Airport at 08:13. Twenty-four seconds after takeoff the flight crew reported that the aircraft was difficult to control with uncommanded banking to the left and right of about 20°, increasing to 30°.
The angle of attack increased to 20°, activating the stall warning. After that, the airplane suddenly rolled to the left and the nose dropped to a pitch angle of -65°. The speed reached 747 km/h and the overspeed warning sounded in the flight deck. In 12 seconds, the altitude dropped from 4717 to 2884 meters. The airframe was overloaded beyond structural limits and the aircraft began to break up.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: Auto-pilot induced oscillations caused the aircraft to shake violently. It appeared that the autopilot yaw-channel had been connected to the bank control and the bank-channel to the yaw controls. This was done the previous evening 'in the field' rather than in a workshop.

Autopilot issues
Airframe failure
Loss of control

» Air Safety Week 25 July 1994 (p. 4)
» Flight International 20-26 July 1994


photo of Tupolev-Tu-154M-B-2610
accident date: 06-06-1994
type: Tupolev Tu-154M
registration: B-2610

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Xian-Xianyang International Airport to Guangzhou-Baiyun Airport as the crow flies is 1318 km (824 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Tupolev Tu-154

  • 1026 built
  • 48th loss
  • 22nd fatal accident
  • 4th worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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