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."
WATCH BELOW: How the crash played out
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.