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Aeroflot Flight 593

Illustration of A310 F-OGQS
Accident summary
Date 23 March 1994
Type Pilot error, 15-year old in control of airplane
Site Near Mezhdurechensk, Russia
Passengers 63
Crew 12
Injuries n/a
Fatalities 75 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Airbus A310-304
Operator Aeroflot[1]
Tail number F-OGQS
Flight origin Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow
Destination Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

Aeroflot Flight 593, was a "Russian Airlines"[1] Airbus A310 passenger airliner, registration F-OGQS, operating on behalf of Aeroflot, which crashed into a hillside in Siberia on 23 March 1994. All 75 passengers and crew were killed.

Voice and flight data recorders revealed that the pilot's 15-year-old son Eldar Kudrinsky, while seated at the controls, had unknowingly disabled the A310's autopilot's control of the ailerons, which put the aircraft into a steep bank, and then an uncontrolled dive. The pilots were not aware of the partial disconnection of the autopilot, which occurred with no audible alarm, and did not regain control of the aircraft.



The jet was en route from Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) to Hong Kong's former Hong Kong International Airport (Kai Tak Airport). Most of the passengers were businessmen from Hong Kong and Taiwan who were looking for economic opportunities in Russia.[2]

The relief pilot,[2] Yaroslav Kudrinsky (Russian: Ярослав Кудринский), was taking his two children on their first international flight and they were brought to the cockpit while he was on duty. Aeroflot allowed families of pilots to travel at a discounted rate once per year.[2] With the autopilot active, Kudrinsky, against regulations, offered to let them sit at the controls. First his daughter Yana took the pilot's left front seat. Kudrinsky adjusted the autopilot's heading to give her the impression that she was turning the plane, though she actually had no control of the aircraft. Next, his son Eldar Kudrinsky (Russian: Эльдар Кудринский) took the pilot's seat. Unlike his sister, Eldar applied enough force to the control column to contradict the autopilot for 30 seconds.

What nobody knew was that by doing this, he completely disconnected the aileron's autopilot: the flight computer switched the plane's ailerons to manual control while maintaining control over the other flight systems. The plane did not audibly signal a warning that this had occurred, although an indicator light did come on. It apparently went unnoticed by the pilots, who had previously flown planes with an audible warning signal. The first to notice a problem was Eldar, who observed that the plane was banking right. Shortly after, the flight path indicator changed to show the new flight path of the aircraft as it turned. Since the turn was continuous, the resulting predicted flight path drawn on screen was a 180 degree turn. This indication is similar to the indications shown when in a holding pattern, where a 180 degree turn is intentional to remain in one place. This confused the pilots for nine seconds.

Soon the plane banked past a 45-degree angle (steeper than it was designed for). This increased the g-force on the pilots and crew, making their bodies feel much heavier than usual, and making it impossible for the Captain to replace his son at the controls. After banking as much as 90 degrees, the remaining functions of the autopilot tried to correct the plane's altitude by putting the plane in an almost vertical ascent, nearly stalling the plane. The co-pilot and Eldar managed to get the plane into a nosedive, which reduced the G-force on the pilots and enabled the Captain to take the controls. Though he and his co-pilot did regain control, their altitude by then was too low to recover, and the plane crashed at high speed, killing all aboard.

Families of western victims placed flowers on the crash site, while families of ethnic Chinese victims scattered pieces of paper with messages written on them around the crash site.[2]


A season three episode of the Canadian-produced TV series Mayday (Air Emergency, Air Crash Investigation), "Kid in the Cockpit", featured this crash.

The Michael Crichton novel Airframe (1996) features a similar set of circumstances.

Flight number

Although it is common airline practice to retire the flight numbers of flights involved in fatal accidents,[3] Aeroflot continues to use flight number 593 on its Moscow – Hong Kong service as of July 2009. This service has been scheduled twice a week (operating only on Saturday and Sunday). The additional flights are assigned flight number 595 and 591.


  1. ^ a b "Авиакатастрофа в Кемеровской области" (in Russian). Kommersant. 1994-03-24. Retrieved 2007-10-22.  
  2. ^ a b c d "Kid in Cockpit," Mayday (also known as Air Crash Investigation)
  3. ^ Grossman, David. "Check your travel superstitions, or carry them on?" USA Today. 31 October 2005. Retrieved on 2 November 2009.

External links

Coordinates: 53°30′N 88°15′E / 53.5°N 88.25°E / 53.5; 88.25



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