News Plane Crashes Update News — 29 March 2015

Update: Snowstorm a factor in Air Canada crash that injured 25

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 7:04 PM – A little more than two years after Air Canada flight AC624 crashed at Halifax’s Stanfield Airport, the strong winds of a snowstorm at the time of the crash has been listed as one of the main causes.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released its investigation report of the crash, which happened a little after midnight on March 29, 2015 in a snowstorm.

“The investigation found that the flight crew had set the autopilot to fly the appropriate constant descent flight path angle,” the TSB said Thursday. “Because company procedures did not require the flight crew to monitor the aircraft’s altitude and distance to the runway, the crew did not notice that wind variations had caused the aircraft’s flight path to move further back from the selected flight path.”

The TSB also said the runway lights were not adjusted to their maximum brightness as the flight crew requested, such that they misinterpreted the lights, expecting them to become more visible as they approached.

“It was only in the last few seconds of the flight, after the pilots disengaged the autopilot to land manually, that they then realized that the aircraft was too low and too far back,” the report reads. “Although they initiated a go-around immediately, the aircraft struck terrain short of the runway.”

The plane, an Airbus A320 with 133 passengers and five crew aboard, came down more than 200 m short of the runway, severing power lines and striking the snow-covered ground. It continued airborne, striking the ground twice more and going through an antenna before coming to rest.

Some 25 people were hospitalized after the crash, which left the plane “destroyed” according to the TSB. Among the injuries listed in the report: The captain and first officer both hit their heads on the cockpit’s glare shield as their shoulder harnesses failed to lock from the inertia, and a flight attendant was hurt when a coffee brewer escaped its mount.

“Because no emergency was expected, the passengers and cabin crew were not in a brace position at the time of the initial impact,” the report reads. “Most of the injuries sustained by the passengers were consistent with not adopting a brace position.”

The TSB says Air Canada and the Halifax International Airport authority made several changes to avoid a similar incident in the future. You can read the full report below.

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Update: Air Canada Flight 624: Plane cabin floor ‘punctured’ during crash landing

The Air Canada plane that crashed at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in March had no mechanical deficiencies, but the right-side cabin floor was “punctured from below,” the Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report.

The preliminary report released Tuesday by the board says the right-side cabin floor in rows 31 and 33 of AC624 were punctured. As well, the floor next to the flight attendant fold-down seat near the rear of the cabin was punctured from below. No pieces of the antenna structure penetrated the cockpit.

The report reviews what investigators have done so far, and what work is still left to complete.

It does not provide a reason for the crash or attribute blame to the pilots, but says federal investigators will continue to evaluate the training and experience of the pilots.

The March 29 crash of the Airbus A320 caused the plane’s landing gear to collapse, ripped off the plane’s engine and severed the craft’s nose cone after the jet began its skid 335 metres short of a snow-strewn Halifax runway.

The flight had left Toronto en route to Halifax.

There were 133 passengers and five crew members on board.

The report also said 25 people sustained injuries and were taken to local hospitals, two more than the previously reported 23 injured. No one was critically injured.​

The TSB Watchlist identifes approach-and-landing accidents as one of the issues that “poses the greatest risk to Canada’s transportation system.”

These accidents include:

  • Runway overruns.
  • Runway excursions.
  • Landings short of the runway.
  • Tail strikes.

The TSB has called on operators, regulators and air navigation service providers to take more action to prevent approach-and-landing accidents.

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Air Canada
Photo: This March 29, 2015 handout photo provided by the Canada Transportation Safety Board shows a side view of damage to a Air Canada Airbus A-320 that skidded off the runway at Halifax International Airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia. An Air Canada jet came off the runway after landing at the Halifax airport in Nova Scotia on March 29, sending at least 23 people to hospital, officials said.

An Air Canada airplane crash landed on the runway of the Halifax International Airport early Sunday. The Airbus A320 is believed to have slammed into a power line, likely leading to the crash and a mass power outage at the airport.

The airline confirms that 22 people have been sent to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Flight AC624 had 132 passengers and five crew members on board at the time of the crash.

Peter Spurway, a spokesperson for Halifax International Airport, says federal investigators have been called in to probe the incident.

The airport has been shut down and all flights have been cancelled.

A direct link between the power outage and the crash have not been confirmed by airport officials.

People who were waiting for their flights, however, posted pictures of pitch-dark terminals and speculated that it might have been caused by the incident. The power was restored some 80 minutes after being cut off.

Initial reports from the scene indicated that the plane was badly damaged.

The incident occurred amid light snowfall and heavy winds on Sunday. Road conditions were reportedly slippery.

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Other news:
A frightening landing for passengers aboard Air Canada flight 624 arriving in Halifax from Toronto.

The plane made a ‘hard landing’ on the runway of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport early Sunday, but no major injuries were reported. At least 23 people have been sent to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. AC624 had 133 passengers and five crew members on board.

It’s believed the plane slammed into a power line and then skidded, leading to a mass power outage at the airport. A direct link between the power outage and the hard landing have not been confirmed by airport officials. The airport has been shut down and all flights have been cancelled.

According to Air Canada, all passengers deplaned safely.

“We just hit hard and things broke up,” says passenger Gordon Murray.

Murray says he’s calm despite the horrific experience and feels fortunate to be alive considering what could have been.

“Just before we hit there was a big ball of light. It hit like a hard landing and we bounced and we skidded.”

11-year-old Leon Yu wasn’t sure what was happening at the time, but recalls the plane “sliding everywhere.”

“A couple minutes later they just told us to get out of the plane.”

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