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China Airlines Flight 140 was a route from Taipeimarker, Taiwanmarker to Nagoya, Japanmarker. On April 26, 1994, the Airbus A300 on the route was due to land at Nagoya Airportmarker. The Airbus A300 was completing a routine flight and approach, however just before landing, the First Officer pressed the Takeoff/Go-around button (also known as a TOGA) which raises the throttle position to the same as take offs and go-arounds.

Pilot Wang Lo-chi and copilot Chuang Meng-jung attempted to correct the situation by manually reducing the throttles and pushing the yoke downwards. The autopilot then acted against these inputs (as it is programmed to do when the TOGA button is activated), causing the plane to have a very nose-high altitude. This nose-high altitude, combined with decreasing airspeed due to insufficient thrust, resulted in an aerodynamic stall of the aircraft. With insufficient altitude to recover from this condition, the subsequent crash killed 264 (15 crew and 249 passengers) of the 271 (15 crew and 256 passengers) people aboard. All passengers who survived the incident were seated at the starboard side of the aircraft in coach class.

The crash which destroyed the aircraft (delivered less than 3 years earlier in 1991) was attributed to crew error for their failure to correct the controls as well as the airspeed. It is the second highest death toll of any accident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world after Iran Air Flight 655marker.


Most of the passengers were Taiwanese and Japanese; 153 Japanese and 101 non-Japanese were on the flight. Two infants were on the flight.

Chronology of the flight

The flight took off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airportmarker at 17:53 Japan Standard Time bound for Nagoya Airport. The en-route flight was uneventful and the descent started at 19:47, and the airplane passed the outer marker at 20:12. Just 3 nautical miles from the runway threshold at 1000 feet AGL, the airplane levelled off for about 15 seconds and continued descending until about 500 feet where there were two bursts of thrust applied in quick succession and the airplane was nose up in a steep climb. Airspeed dropped quickly, the airplane stalled, the nose dropped. The captain tried to pull back on the control column but was unsuccessful and the airplane struck the ground at 20:15:45. 31-year old Noriyasu Shirai, a survivor, said that a flight attendant announced that the plane would crash after the aircraft stalled. Sylvanie Detonio, who had survived by April 27, said that passengers received no warning prior to the crash.

By April 27, 1994 officials said there were ten survivors (including a 3-year old) and that a Filipino, two Taiwanese, and seven Japanese survived.

By May 6 seven remained alive, including three children. A doctor expressed surprise in response to the survival of two of the children.

Court proceedings

  • Japanese prosecutors declined to pursue charges of professional negligence on the airline's senior management as it was "difficult to call into question the criminal responsibility of the four individuals because aptitude levels achieved through training at the carrier were similar to those at other airlines." The pilots could not be prosecuted since they died in the accident.

  • A class action suit was filed against China Airlines and Airbus Industrie for compensation. In December 2003, the Nagoya District Court ordered China Airlines to pay a combined 5 billion yen to 232 people, but cleared Airbus of liability. Some of the bereaved and survivors felt that the compensation was inadequate and a further class action suit was filed and ultimately settled in April, 2007 when the airline apologised for the accident and provided additional compensation.


  • On May 3, 1994, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) of the Republic of Chinamarker (Taiwan) ordered China Airlines to modify the flight control computers following Airbus's notice of the modification.
  • On May 7, 1994, the CAA ordered China Airlines to provide supplementary training and a re-evaluation of proficiency to all A300-600R pilots.
  • The flight numbers CI140/141 have been retired after the accident and have been replaced with CI150/151.


  1. " "It's over, it's over'/Recorder details cockpit panic aboard doomed plane." Houston Chronicle.
  2. Thurber, David. " 261 die in crash of China Airlines Airbus in Japan." Associated Press at Houston Chronicle. Wednesday April 27, 1994. A14. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
  3. " China Air co-pilot over limit for DWI." Associated Press at Houston Chronicle. Friday May 6, 1994. A26. Retrieved on March 22, 2009.
  4. " Doctor amazed that boy survived China Airlines crash." Fort Worth Star-Telegram. April 28, 1994. Retrieved on December 30, 2008.
  5. " China Airlines officials again avoid charges over 1994 crash." The Japan Times. Tuesday April 10, 2001. Retrieved on December 25, 2008.
  6. " Kin settle over 1994 China Air Nagoya crash." The Japan Times. Friday April 20, 2007. Retrieved on December 25, 2008.
  7. Nakao, Masayuki. " China Airlines Airbus A300-600R (Flight 140) Missed Landing and Goes Up in flame at Nagoya Airport." Japan Science and Technology Agency. Retrieved on December 25, 2008.

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