Accident McDonnell Douglas MD-11 B-2171, Tuesday 6 April 1993
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Date:Tuesday 6 April 1993
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD11 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
Owner/operator:China Eastern Airlines
Registration: B-2171
MSN: 48495/461
Year of manufacture:1991
Total airframe hrs:4810 hours
Cycles:1571 flights
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney PW4460
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 255
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor, repaired
Location:1760 km S of Shemya, AK -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport (SHA/ZSSS)
Destination airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
China Eastern flight 583 had an inadvertent deployment of the leading edge wing slats while in cruise flight. The autopilot disconnected, and the captain was manually controlling the airplane when it progressed through several violent pitch oscillations and lost 5,000 feet of altitude. The captain regained stabilized flight, declared an emergency because of passenger injuries, and diverted to the US Air Force Base, Shemya, Alaska. Two passengers were fatally injured, and 149 passengers and 7 crewmembers received various injuries. The airplane did not receive external structural damage, but the passenger cabin was substantially damaged.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The inadequate design of the flap/slat actuation handle by the Douglas Aircraft Company that allowed the handle to be easily and inadvertently dislodged from the UP/RET position, thereby causing extension of the leading edge slats during cruise flight. The captain's attempt to recover from the slat extension, given the reduced longitudinal stability and the associated light control force characteristics of the MD-11 in cruise flight, led to several violent pitch oscillations.
Contributing to the violence of the pitch oscillations was the lack of specific MD-11 pilot training in recovery from high altitude upsets, and the influence of the stall warning system on the captain's control responses. Contributing to the severity of the injuries was the lack of seat restraint usage by the

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: NTSB/AAR-93/07
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report


Air Safety Week 1 November 1993 (p. 1-3)
Air Safety Week 19 April 93 (1,2)
Air Safety Week 31 May 1993 (p. 1,2)
Air Safety Week 12 April 1993 (p. 1,2)


photo (c) NTSB; Shemya, AK; April 1993; (publicdomain)

Revision history:


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