On December sixteenth, 1997, Air Canada Flight 646 was scheduled to fly from Toronto Lester B. Pearson Worldwide Airport to Fredericton Worldwide Airport, New Brunswick. The Bombardier CRJ100ER had 39 passengers onboard, together with two infants.
There have been two flight crew and one flight attendant. He had been flying with Air Canada for 28 years, had labored on the plane kind for the final two years, and was seated at door one left. There was an off-duty flight attendant seated at 3E. She additionally labored on the plane kind and had one and a half years of expertise with Air Canada. The flight attendant carried out the protection demonstration and briefed the 2 male passengers on the over-wing exits. He described intimately find out how to function the exits and confirmed them find out how to take away the protecting cowl. He spoke loudly to make sure passengers close by may additionally hear.
The flight was uneventful till the ultimate method into Fredericton. The primary officer was the pilot flying whereas the captain monitored. They’d executed two flights already that day and swapped positions. The autopilot was engaged, and indicators from the ILS on the airport had been acquired; touchdown lights had been on for the method and touchdown. The climate across the airport was marginal, with low visibility on account of fog. The captain noticed the glow of the runway method lights by means of the fog and mentioned that the runway was in sight; the primary officer responded that he was touchdown.
The primary officer disconnected the autopilot at hand fly the method and touchdown, however the plane drifted above the glide path, and the captain coached him again down two instances. In response, the primary officer decreased thrust to idle. The captain may see they had been left of the middle line however didn’t know the way far they had been down the runway. He ordered a go-around. The primary officer chosen the go-around mode, superior the thrust levers, and pitched the plane ten levels nostril up. The stick shaker (stall warning) activated. The captain chosen the flaps to the go-around setting, and the stall safety system sounded.
What occurred subsequent
The plane stalled and rolled to the best. The fitting wing tip hit the runway, and the plane rolled again and struck the runway once more, breaking the nostril wheel meeting off. The fitting winglet broke off, and the underside of the cockpit was severely broken. There was no electrical energy other than the emergency lighting. As quickly because the plane made contact with the runway, the flight attendant took his brace place and shouted his instructions, ‘Emergency. Bend over. Seize Ankles. Preserve your head down.’
Some passengers heard him some didn’t. The flight crew couldn’t management the plane; there was darkness in and out. The plane was severely broken, they usually had been disorientated. The engines had been nonetheless at full energy, and the plane rolled left, touring on its predominant wheels. The captain tried to chop the engine energy by transferring the thrust levers to the shut-off place. The plane veered off the runway, plowing by means of the snow earlier than hitting a ditch after which a sand hill, lastly hanging some timber.
The plane got here to a ultimate cease. They had been in darkness, nonetheless disorientated, and there was pandemonium within the cabin. Everybody may nonetheless hear the engines working and scent the jet gasoline. The captain ordered an evacuation, but it surely went unheard, as the general public handle system was not working. The flight attendant launched his harness and initiated the evacuation. There was no hearth. A tree had impacted the cabin and lower by means of the fuselage, 9 toes from the principle passenger door.
The plane forward of the galley was twisted counterclockwise. The primary passenger door was out of alignment and jammed as a result of deformed construction. Overturned seats and mangled panels crammed the cabin. Over-wing exits had been used to evacuate calmly and shortly. Each the pilots and off-duty crew member helped evacuate the plane. Seven passengers had been trapped within the wreckage.
The off-duty flight attendant took management on the bottom and shouted to the passengers ‘Get away from the plane. Keep collectively.’ She assembled the passengers in a bunch and did a head depend. She repeated this a number of instances so that folks stayed put. She stopped passengers returning to the plane and warned them to not smoke due to the spilled jet gasoline. When the engine had stopped working, she returned to the plane and gathered coats for passengers; some had no footwear and weren’t dressed for the inclement climate.
The flight attendant onboard did one other cabin verify to see that every one passengers who weren’t trapped had been out. He evacuated by means of the best over-wing exit. He noticed the runway and automobile lights and heard sirens. Utilizing a flashlight, he tried to sign to the rescue staff the place they had been, however there was no response. The flight attendant gave the flashlight to a passenger and informed them to maintain signaling as he returned to the plane.
There have been no fatalities, however 9 individuals had been severely injured. They’d been sitting on the entrance left aspect of the plane the place the tree impacted. Some minor accidents occurred as passengers slipped and fell on the wing floor throughout evacuation. The flight crew and flight attendant tried to launch the trapped passengers; sadly, they may not. They awaited rescue, however none got here, because the rescue staff couldn’t discover them within the dense fog, and there was no emergency location transmitter onboard. They shouted out for assist, however the cries went unheard.
The flight attendant instructed a passenger to take a small group with a flashlight and head towards the runway. The off-duty flight attendant led a big group to the runway. Fourteen minutes after the accident, the driving force of the rescue automobile and a solo firefighter noticed individuals strolling towards the runway. As soon as they reached the runway, passengers had been taken to the terminal after which on to the hospital.
The three crew remained on the plane with the trapped passengers till the firefighter arrived. He reported their place and referred to as for further help and tools. The final trapped passengers had been eliminated two hours and 46 minutes after the accident.
The Transport Security Board famous a number of elements to the accident, together with the dearth of expertise of the primary officer and the questionable choice that the captain allowed him to land. Climate and runway circumstances had been additionally talked about. The plane wings had been contaminated by ice, decreasing the assault angle earlier than the stall. A go-around was not possible on the altitude as a result of climate and ice on the wing. The flight crew had not been completely educated in emergency procedures.
Like many airways, Air Canada has needed to depend on authorities loans and funding over the pandemic. Photograph: Vincenzo Tempo | Easy Flying
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Kind:
- Full Service Provider
- Calgary Worldwide Airport, Montréal–Trudeau Worldwide Airport, Toronto Pearson Worldwide Airport, Vancouver Worldwide Airport
- 12 months Based:
- Star Alliance
- Michael Rousseau