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Last updated: 23 April 2019
Status:
Date:Monday 6 June 1994
Time:08:22
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
C/n / msn: 86A-740
First flight: 1986
Total airframe hrs:12507
Cycles:6651
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
Flightnumber:WH2303
Narrative:
A Tupolev 154M operated by China Northwest Airlines as flight 2303 from Xian (XIY) to Guangzhou (CAN) was destroyed in an accident shortly after takeoff. 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.

Classification:
Autopilot issues
Airframe failure
Loss of control

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


Photos

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

Map
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

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  • 46th loss
  • 22nd fatal accident
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