Collision with terrain involving an Air Canada Airbus A320 at Stanfield International Airport, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The occurrence

C-FTJPOn 29 March 2015, at approximately 1240 a.m., Air Canada flight ACA 624, an Airbus A320, on a scheduled flight from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, collided with terrain approximately 1100 feet from the threshold of Runway 05, eventually coming to rest about 1100 feet down the runway. There were 133 passengers and 5 crew members on board; all of whom exited the aircraft. Twenty-five people were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries.

What we know

The initial impact was significant and caused substantial damage to the aircraft. The main landing gear separated and the underside of the aircraft was heavily damaged (fuselage and wings). During this impact, the aircraft collided with a localizer antenna array – part of the instrument landing system – and became airborne again, travelling forward on Runway 05. There is an extensive debris field between the localizer antenna location and the threshold of the runway.

During the first day on site, Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigators documented the wreckage, the impact marks and the debris field. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR) were recovered from the aircraft and have been sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa, Ontario.

Investigation team work

The investigation team is led by the Investigator-in-Charge, Doug McEwen. Mr. McEwen has been an investigator with the TSB for 18 years. He is assisted in this investigation by experts in flight operations, air traffic services, weather, aircraft structures, aircraft systems, aircraft engines, and human performance.

Some of these experts come from within the TSB, but assistance is also being provided by the following organizations: Transport Canada (TC), NAV CANADA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Airbus, and France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses. This is a normal part of any investigation, as these experts play a key role in helping the team uncover and understand all of the underlying factors which may have contributed to the accident.


Although more analysis is required, this accident displays some of the characteristics of an approach-and-landing accidents which is on TSB’s Watchlist.

Next steps

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:

  • survey the impact and wreckage site
  • continue examining and photographing the wreckage
  • removing the aircraft from the runway to restore normal operations
  • gather Air Traffic Control voice and data recordings
  • conduct witness interviews
  • gather meteorological information
  • collect operational information from the aircraft
  • preliminary review of the recorders at the TSB Lab to assist field investigators
  • determine which wreckage to collect for closer examination
    • further examination will be at the TSB Lab

Communication of safety deficiencies

Should the investigation team uncover safety deficiencies that present an immediate risk, they will be communicated without delay so they may be addressed quickly and the aviation system made safer.

The information posted is factual in nature and does not contain any analysis. Analysis of the accident and the Findings of the Board will be part of the final report. The investigation is ongoing.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations

Stun Guns, Fireworks and WWII Replicas: Airport Screening Officers Made Unusual Discoveries in 2012

OTTAWA, Feb. 25, 2013 /CNW/ – Screening officers at Canada’s major airports screened more than 51 million passengers last year, according to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). While it’s not uncommon to see bottles of liquid larger than the permitted 100 ml or pocket knives in passengers’ carry-on bags, some other discoveries were real head-scratchers.

  • Not-so-lucky Charm
    • Lots of people travel with lucky charms. For some it’s a rabbit foot, for others a horseshoe and in the case of one Whitehorse passenger, a “lucky” knife.  An alarm at the metal detector led screening officers to search the passenger’s shoe, revealing a knife concealed in the sole. The passenger told screening officers the knife was there for good luck, which turned into bad luck when the knife was intercepted.
  • How many butterfly knives do you need?
    • A passenger at the Vancouver International Airport clearly thought 22 was the answer, which screening officers discovered when they found almost two dozen of them in his bag, along with eight brass knuckles and four fireworks. The items were confiscated by police and the passenger was arrested.
  • Explosive Situation
    • At Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, a World War II aficionado’s travel plans were halted after the x-ray identified what looked like a grenade. A subsequent search and police intervention found that the item was a replica of a World War II grenade. Not surprisingly, explosives and replicas thereof are not allowed onboard.
  • Not Packing Light
    • Screening officers in Vancouver made a surprising discovery when a passenger went through the metal detector: a six-inch hunting knife. But that’s not all. In the course of the search, they also found 30 grams of marijuana and a retractable steel baton. Police were called and the passenger was arrested.
  • Stunning Catch
    • Because you never know when you’ll next need your stun gun, a Toronto-Pearson passenger decided to bring his personal protection device in his carry-on bag. When the shape of a gun was observed at the x-ray, screening officers inspected the bag and found a prohibited stun gun. Stun guns are not only banned from aircraft but also illegal to possess under Canada’s Criminal Code.
  • An Alarming Money Belt
    • A passenger set off the alarm when he walked through the metal detector at Toronto-Pearson International Airport. Screening officers subsequently found multiple rolls of coins in the waistband of his pants. Coins are allowed in carry-on bags so hopefully the passenger realized it’s a more comfortable way to stash his cash.

As the busy spring break travel season approaches, CATSA reminds passengers to visit before going to the airport. Knowing what can be taken on a plane makes security screening faster and easier for everyone. Passengers may also find CATSA at and on Twitter at @catsa_gc.

CATSA, established in 2002, is a Crown corporation responsible for:

  • Pre-board screening – the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and personal belongings;
  • Hold-baggage screening – the screening of checked baggage;
  • Non-passenger screening – the screening of non-passengers on a random basis; and
  • Restricted Area Identity Card – the administration of access control to airport restricted areas through biometric identifiers. 

SOURCE: Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)

Bomb Threat Diverts Korean Air Flight To CFB Comox

KAL72 Vancouver to Seoul diverted to CFB Comox by bomb threat

The crew of a Korean Air 777 airliner was forced to make an emergency landing at a military airbase on Vancouver Island after the airline received its second bomb threat in two days.

Korean Air flight 72, with 149 people on board, had taken off from Vancouver International Airport headed for Seoul, South Korea, at 2:30 p.m. PT Tuesday.

The crew turned back off the north coast of B.C. after a bomb threat was made in a telephone call to the airline’s Los Angeles office, a Korean Air spokesman told CBC News.

The flight was diverted to the airbase at Comox, on Vancouver Island, escorted by U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jets that had been scrambled from Portland, Ore., according to Victoria’s Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre.



Iran’s National Airline Receives IATA Safety License for 3rd Time

TEHRAN (FNA)- Managing-Director of Iran’s national air carrier, Iran Air (Homa), Farhad Parvaresh announced that the safety standards of his airline have been endorsed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) once again.

“Homa has received IOSA (the IATA Operational Safety Audit)’s license for the third time,” Parvaresh told reporters on Tuesday.

He added that IATA’s experts visited Iran in August and examined 1,000 safety codes and items and Okayed Homa’s license after they saw the positive results.

The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.

IOSA uses internationally recognized quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardized and consistent manner.

It was created in 2003 by IATA. The program is designed to assess the operational management and control systems of airlines. The companies are included in the IOSA registry for a period of 2 years following an audit carried out by an organization accredited by IATA.

UPS Pilots File Court of Appeals Challenge to FAA Final Flight & Duty Time Rule

The FAA in it’s infinite wisdom has instituted new flight and rest regulations for air crews to make our skys safer but has somehow exempted cargo carriers from this regulation.  The UPS Pilots (the Independent Pilots Association) have filed suit to ensure that cargo crews are covered under the new regulations.


IPA Press Releases

UPS Pilots File Court of Appeals Challenge to FAA Final Flight & Duty Time Rule

Release Date: 12/22/2011 1:02:08 PM

WASHINGTON, DC, December 22, 2011 – Today the Independent Pilots Association (UPS pilots) filed a Petition for Review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in order to challenge FAA’s exclusion of cargo operations from the final flight and duty time rule issued yesterday.

“The IPA seeks to have cargo operations included within the scope of the rule because of the safety benefits provided by the rule.  IPA does not seek to delay implementation of these important safety benefits to passenger operations,” said IPA General Counsel William Trent.  He stated that the Association, representing the 2,700 pilots flying for UPS, would challenge the rule on multiple substantive and procedural grounds.

“The internal inconsistency of the final rule is remarkable.  For example, the FAA states that current regulations do not adequately address the risk of fatigue (Rule p.19,) and that the maintenance of the status quo presents an ‘unacceptably high aviation accident risk” (Rule p. 259.)  Yet two of the very factors that the FAA cites as exacerbating the risk of pilot fatigue—operating at night and crossing multiple time zones (Rule p.5) are more present in cargo operations than in passenger operations,” said Trent.

“The FAA’s only basis for excluding cargo rests on a cost benefit analysis,” said Trent.  “Yet, the Agency does not articulate how it arrived at either the projected costs or benefits of applying the final rule to cargo operators.  The rule is wholly and utterly opaque when it comes to providing any factual support for the cost benefit conclusions reached,” he added.

“Procedural irregularities are present as well,” said Trent.  “Cargo operators were allowed to supplement the record after the public NPRM comment period was officially closed.  Accepted into the closed record was unsupported costing data provided by carriers.  This data has not been subject to public scrutiny or review,” Trent added.

In January, IPA will file additional court papers including a preliminary statement of issues it expects to raise in the case.

For additional information please go to:
William C. Trent, IPA General Counsel
(502) 472-1299

Thomas R. Devine, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell
(202) 955-5600 X 568 –