In the case of the Aeroflot Flight 593 air crash, could the autopilot have rectified the flight path of the Airbus at any point if the crew had not attempted to correct the spin, even while partially disengaged as it was after the son applied to much force to the control column?

Despite the struggles of both pilots to save the aircraft, it was later concluded that if they had just let go of the control column, the autopilot would have automatically taken action to prevent stalling, thus avoiding the accident.

  • $\begingroup$ I've update your question for you. next time please use the edit function $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Mar 13, 2019 at 12:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The question was much better with the quote in it explaining some background instead of requiring everyone (except the air-crash junkies) to click the link to find out any information at all. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 13, 2019 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


The PIC had given his seat and controls to his son (a visitor in the cockpit without any flight qualifications). The autopilot was in perfect control of the A310 until the son of the PIC had disengaged the automatic aileron control by applying sufficient control force. Up to a certain banking angle, fully engaging the AP would have resolved the problem. Without control over the ailerons, the AP could not recover the plane's attitude. The banking angle was out of the operating range, and the plane was not able to maintain its altitude.

Unfortunately, both pilots had trouble to become aware of the situation, and they also had a lack of understanding of the A310 controls. After fully disengaging the AP, the AP could not help with the lateral control any more.

This is very simplified, of course. A lot of elements contributed to this "accident". I recommend to read the Investigation report.

  • $\begingroup$ @bogle: Excellent, simple explanation of the situation! While not an exact corrollary, it backs up the generic Airbus advice that in an abnormal situation "Don't fight the aircraft, let it go"! AF447 being a similar case in point. Had the crew, and in particular the F/O let go of the side-stick, the aircraft would have righted itself, by itself. A very tragic situation. $\endgroup$
    – Pete855217
    Mar 13, 2019 at 14:59

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