The Aviation Portal

The Xian MA60 (新舟60, Xīnzhōu 60, "Modern Ark 60") is a turboprop-powered airliner made by China's Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation under the China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I). The MA60 is a stretched version of the Xian Y7-200A, which was produced based on the An-24 to operate in rugged conditions with limited ground support and has short take-off and landing (STOL) capability.

The airplane received its type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in June 2000. The first aircraft was delivered to Sichuan Airlines in August 2000. The MA60 has not been type certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration. No other Western Government has issued it with a safety certificate. The general designer of MA-60 series is Mr. Lü Hai (吕海).

As of October 2006, XAC has received over 90 MA60 orders. The factory had delivered 23 MA60s by the end of 2006, and expects to deliver an additional 165 units by the end of 2016.


Merpati MA60 at Ngurah Rai International Airport in 2011
Role Turboprop airliner
Manufacturer Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation
First flight 25 February 2000
Introduction August 2000
Status In production
Primary user Merpati Nusantara Airlines
Produced 2000–present
Number built 80 delivered + 210 ordered (March 2013)
Developed from Xian Y-7
Variants Xian MA600
Xian MA700



  • Xian MA60-100: Reduced weight improved performance.
  • Xian MA60-MPA Fearless Albatross: Maritime patrol and ASW variant offered for sale at Airshow China 2002.
  • Xian MA40: Reduced capacity 40 seat variant offered for sale in 2002.
  • Xian MA60H-500: A military cargo version of the MA-60, with rear cargo ramp.
  • Xian MA600: A much improved MA60, the prototype of which was completed on 29 June 2008.

Accidents and incidents

  • In January 2009, a MA60 operated by Philippine carrier Zest Airways crashed at Caticlan airport while trying to land on 11 January 2009. The aircraft landed too short on the runway, skidded out of control and crashed into a concrete barrier. The aircraft caught fire and suffered extensive damage to its wing, landing gear, undercarriage and one engine. Several passengers were injured in that accident.
  • In June 2009, a MA60 operated by Zest overshot the runway while trying to land at Caticlan airport. As a consequence of this accident lengthening of the runway and the flattening of a hill that obstructs one of its approaches was carried out.
  • On 7 May 2011 Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 8968 (with Indonesian registration PK-MZK) went into sea only 500 metres from the runway in bad weather with poor visibility on visual approach to Kaimana Airport, Kaimana, West Papua in Indonesia. It had left Sorong Airport with 21 passengers and 6 crew members on board. All passengers and crew were killed, making this the first reported fatal accident for the Xian MA60. On 24 August 2011 Indonesia’s Transportation Minister determined human error was to blame for Merpati Airline Disaster.
  • On 9 January 2012 a TAM flight from Riberalta Airport to Guayaramerín Airport, Bolivia operated by FAB-96 landed with the undercarriage not deployed due to a fault, resulting in substantial damage to the aircraft. There were no injuries amongst the five crew and sixteen passengers.
  • On 16 May 2013 a Myanma Airways flight from Heho Airport to Monghsat Airport in Burma, overran the runway on landing, resulting in two serious injuries and substantial damage to the aircraft. The MA60 allegedly suffered a brakes failure.
  • On 10 June 2013 Merpati Nusantara Airlines flight MZ6517 from Bajawa to Kupang, with 50 people on-board landed hard at Kupang airport in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Two passengers were injured. The plane, which has been damaged beyond repair, lay on its belly on the runway with its engines jammed face down into the tarmac and its wings bent forward which one would expect after such a hard landing
  • On 10 June 2013 Myanma Airways flight UB309 from Mawlamyine, Myanmar carrying four crew members and 60 passengers swerved off the runway upon landing at Kawthaung. The plane came to a stop in bushes about 200 feet to the west of the runway, with smoke coming from the left side propeller housing and the propellers on both wings damaged. There were no injuries. It is possible the captain was too early in switching the nosewheel steering to the 'taxi' mode during the landing roll and lost directional control. This has happened before with Myanma Airways in December 2011.
  • The New Zealand Government suspended its program of development aid to Tonga's tourism industry in July 2013 after a MA60 donated by the Chinese Government was delivered to the airline Real Tonga. In August 2013 the New Zealand Government also issued a statement advising tourists to not travel on Real Tonga's MA60 on the grounds that "this aircraft has been involved in a significant number of accidents in the last few years", and the type "is not certified to fly in New Zealand or other comparable jurisdictions".


Lao Airlines Xian MA60 at Pakse Airport in 2009.
Zest Airways MA60 at Marinduque Airport, Philippines
Lao Airlines MA60 at Louangnamtha Airport, Laos
Transporte Aéreo Militar MA60 at Cochabamba Airport, Bolivia

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 60 passengers
  • Length: 24.71 m (81 ft 0¾ in)
  • Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 9½ in)
  • Height: 8.86 m (29 ft 0½ in)
  • Wing area: 75.0 m² (807 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 13,700 kg (30,203 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 21,800 kg (48,060 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J Turboprop, 2,051 kW (2,750 shp) each


  • Maximum speed: 514 km/h (278 knots, 319 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 430 km/h (232 knots, 267 mph) (econ cruise speed)
  • Range: 1,600 km (864 nmi, 994 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft)




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