The major reason that lead Aeroflot Flight 593 to crash was the partial disengagement of the of autopilot (by the pilot's kid who was in the cockpit) which could have been avoided if the pilots were more familiar with the Airbus 310-100 or there was an audible alert.

Do new Airbus aircrafts have an audible alert in such cases now? were the old ones some how altered to implement this?


2 Answers 2


All Airbus aircraft from the A320 onwards currently do not have an method of disabling lateral or pitch control without the full disconnection of the autopilot. In the case that one of the controls fail, the autopilot will also disconnect.

In the case of the autopilot disconnecting fully, Airbus aircraft have an audible "cavalry charge" which sounds for 3 seconds if disconnected normally, and continuously (until cancelled) if due to a failure or a non-standard method of disconnecting the autopilot.

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    $\begingroup$ @lnafziger: indeed, the same goes for the pitch control though. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ Additionally A320 and onwards have flight envelope protection that won't let the bank angle exceed 67 degrees under any circumstances and 33 degrees without continuous pressure on the control stick. This is unrelated to autopilot and always provided unless the inertial reference fails or the flight computer is manually switched to direct law. This is not retrofitted to the older models, but they rarely fly with passengers anymore. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec indeed, the autopilot does disconnect though if bank angle exceeds 45°. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 23:41

14 CFR 25.1329 - Flight guidance system (which the Airbus must conform to in order to receive FAA approval) requires that all transport category aircraft:

(j) Following disengagement of the autopilot, a warning (visual and auditory) must be provided to each pilot and be timely and distinct from all other cockpit warnings.

So yes, all transport category airplanes certified by the FAA have a visual and auditory alert when the autopilot is disengaged.


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