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Overloading a central cause of 2013 water bomber accident on Moosehead Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador

Halifax, Nova Scotia, 28 August 2014 – he Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its report (A13A0075) into the loss of control and collision with water of a Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Air Services Division water bomber engaged in firefighting duties. The report found that the aircraft took on too much water and failed to resume flight. The aircraft came to rest upright on the lake and partially submerged. There were no injuries to the two crew members, however the aircraft was destroyed.

On 3 July 2013, at about 2:15 p.m. Atlantic Daylight Time, the Bombardier CL-415 amphibious aircraft operating as Tanker 286, departed Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, to fight a nearby forest fire. Shortly after departure, Tanker 286 touched down on Moosehead Lake to scoop a load of water. About 40 seconds later, the captain initiated a left hand turn and almost immediately lost control. The aircraft came to rest upright, but partially submerged. The crew exited the aircraft and remained on the top of the wing until rescued by boat.

The TSB accident investigation found that the PROBES AUTO/MANUAL switch position check was not included on the checklist, and it is likely that the PROBES AUTO/MANUAL switch was inadvertently moved from the AUTO to MANUAL selection. The switch controls the probes, which is the equipment used to scoop water from a lake. The report warns that, if a checklist does not include a critical item, and flight crews are expected to rely on their memory, then there is a risk that the item will be missed and safety could be jeopardized.

The investigation also found that the flight crew was occupied with other flight activities during the scooping run and did not notice that the water quantity exceeded the predetermined limit until after the tanks had filled to capacity. The flight crew then decided to continue the take-off with the aircraft in an overweight condition.

Some safety action has been taken by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Air Services Division. Changes have been made to the storage and securement of safety gear and the installation of a portable satellite telephone in their aircraft. Water bomber pilots and maintenance personnel will be subject to new training and an increased training flight schedule. Finally, the checklist has been amended to include PROBES AUTO/MANUAL switch verification.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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]]>MONTREAL, Aug. 27, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, Calin Rovinescu, today announced the following organizational re-alignment effective September 1, 2014. Benjamin Smith, previously Executive Vice-President and
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]]>MONTREAL, Aug. 27, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Amos Kazzaz, Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, will make a presentation to investors at Cowen and Company 7th Annual Global Transportation & Aerospace/Defense Conference
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]]>Citizens of the World details environmental, social and economic sustainability initiatives MONTREAL, Aug. 25, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today released the 2013 edition of Citizens of the World, the airline's
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]]>MONTREAL, Aug. 15, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today launched an enhanced Preferred Seats program that offers customers the choice of more seats with additional legroom aboard its North American flights
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]]>MONTREAL, Aug. 12, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - This year's Air Canada Foundation golf tournament raised a record of over $1,000,000 in support of organizations focused on health and wellbeing of children in
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Low speed, high descent rate led to September 2012 hard landing and aircraft damage of Jazz Aviation flight in Gaspé, Quebec

Dorval, Quebec, 7 August 2014 – In its investigation report (A12Q0161) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that a landing approach below the optimum approach slope at a low speed and high descent rate led to the hard landing and fuselage strike of a de Havilland DHC-8-301 at the Gaspé Airport on 10 September 2012. There were no injuries to the 32 passengers and 3 crew members, but the aircraft sustained significant damage to its rear fuselage.

The Jazz Aviation DHC-8 was on a scheduled flight from Iles-de-la-Madelaine, Quebec to Gaspé, Quebec. While on its final approach to land, the aircraft reached the optimum descent angle of 3 degrees and continued its approach, descending gradually below the slope indicated by the runway’s precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights. At 170 feet above the runway threshold, the aircraft descended below the lower limit of the PAPI light descent slope and the pilot flying reduced power, thus reducing speed and increasing the descent rate. This indicated an intention to touch down near the runway threshold. At 45 feet above the runway threshold, the pilot reduced power to idle, further increasing the descent rate and reducing airspeed. The nose was raised just prior to touchdown, and the aircraft landed hard resulting in the lower part of the aft fuselage contacted the runway surface during the landing.

The investigation found that the pilot monitoring did not realize that the aircraft was flying too slowly in time to intervene and prevent the hard landing. An attempt to reduce the rate of descent by applying an abrupt nose-up attitude was ineffective, as the aircraft was already flying too slowly. The aft part of the fuselage striking the runway caused significant structural damage to the aircraft.‎ ‎Furthermore, the crew had not received training on the manufacturer’s recommended technique to reduce descent rates close to the ground (increasing engine power and limiting nose-up attitude).

Following the occurrence, Jazz Aviation now provides training on recovery from high descent rates close to the ground to all DHC-8 pilots, and has made improvements to its operating procedures, including amending its short-field landing technique and clarifying stabilized approach and landing criteria.

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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]]>Adjusted net income increased 21 per cent to $139 million MONTREAL, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today reported second quarter adjusted net income (1) of $139 million or $0.47
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]]>Traffic increased 12.7 per cent on capacity increase of 11.4 per cent MONTREAL, Aug. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - For the month of July, Air Canada reported a record system load factor
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Several factors led to a risk of collision for an aircraft landing at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson Airport in March 2013

Toronto, Ontario, 30 July 2014 – In its investigation report (A13O0045) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that a number of factors contributed to an unattended maintenance van crossing the active runway while an aircraft was landing at the Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport on 11 March 2013. There were no injuries.

A Sunwing Airlines aircraft maintenance technician was in a van parked near the nose of one of the company’s aircraft. The technician exited the van to perform various duties outside the aircraft and then boarded it to check the cockpit. Meanwhile, the van had rolled to and crossed the active arrival runway as an aircraft prepared to land. Air traffic control noticed a ground radar target as the driverless van crossed the runway, and instructed the Air Canada Embraer 190 to pull up and go around. Despite two calls to go around, the Air Canada flight continued its approach, flew over the van at a height of approximately 35 feet and landed.

The investigation found that the van rolled across the active arrival runway because it was left unattended with the engine running and the drive gear engaged. The first air traffic control instruction to the Embraer’s flight crew to go around was masked by the sound of the ground proximity warning system in the cockpit, and therefore not heard by the flight crew. The second go-around instruction went unnoticed by the flight crew because it was truncated and the crew did not hear the aircraft call sign. Without supporting visual cues, the crew did not interpret the second call as applying to them.

Following the occurrence, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) issued directives to the Toronto Pearson aviation community reiterating the prohibition against leaving vehicles idling and unsecured on the airside. The GTAA also published and disseminated information on the luminosity requirements for vehicle roof beacons and did spot checks to inspect beacons and require inoperative or inadequate beacons to be repaired or replaced. Sunwing Airlines reported to Transport Canada that it has inspected all of its airside vehicles and ensured that their roof beacons meet specified luminosity standards.

Risk of collisions on runways is a TSB Watchlist issue. Watch the video!

Published in Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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