As­sess­ing risk

Trans­porta­tion Safety Board rec­om­mends train­ing aimed at en­hanc­ing flight safety

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - telegram@thetele­gram.com

Trans­porta­tion Safety Board rec­om­mends train­ing aimed at en­hanc­ing flight safety.

A bet­ter risk as­sess­ment may have averted the crash of Air Canada Flight 7804 at the Gan­der In­ter­na­tional Air­port on April 20, 2016, the Trans­porta­tion Safety Board of Canada said Wed­nes­day.

The news re­lease said not con­sid­er­ing a com­bi­na­tion of risks dur­ing a win­ter storm contributed to the crash of the flight car­ry­ing 16 peo­ple in­clud­ing 14 pas­sen­gers and two crewmem­bers.

The plane at­tempted to land at around 8:30 p.m. on Run­way No. 3 in winds gust­ing to 55 knots. The vis­i­bil­ity was heav­ily re­duced on the run­way that has cen­tre-line light­ing in Gan­der.

“Nei­ther pi­lot had con­sid­ered that the com­bi­na­tion of land­ing at night, in re­duced vis­i­bil­ity, with a cross­wind and blow­ing snow, on a run­way with no cen­tre-line light­ing, was a haz­ard that may cre­ate ad­di­tional risks,’’ the TSB re­lease said.

In ad­di­tion, the re­port said: “The crew also did not rec­og­nize that the gusty cross­wind con­di­tions had caused the air­craft to drift to the right dur­ing land­ing. The op­er­a­tor did not have de­fined cross­wind lim­its that would have re­stricted the max­i­mum cross­wind al­lowed for take­off and land­ing, nor was it re­quired to do so. Rather, it re­lied on air­craft cap­tains to de­ter­mine their own per­sonal lim­its for cross­wind land­ings. If op­er­a­tors do not have de­fined cross­wind lim­its, there is a risk that pi­lots may land in cross­winds that ex­ceed their abil­i­ties, which could jeop­ar­dize the safety of flight.”

As the plane touched down off­line, it veered to the right strik­ing a snow­bank that caused the land­ing gear to col­lapse. As the nose of the plane dipped, the pro­pel­lers struck both the snow and the sur­face of the run­way and sheered off the left-side pro­pel­ler blades and three of the right-side blades sep­a­rated from their mount.

A por­tion of a right-side blade went through the side of the plane that slid to a stop on the run­way.

The 16 oc­cu­pants were evac­u­ated from the plane with three pas­sen­gers sus­tain­ing mi­nor in­juries.

The TSB made sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions for the op­er­a­tor to en­hance the safety of its pas­sen­gers in­clud­ing hav­ing a safety man­age­ment sys­tem in place to ef­fec­tively man­age risk.

Also, the TSB is seek­ing to im­ple­ment manda­tory op­er­a­tor CRM train­ing de­signed to ad­dress in­ter­ac­tions be­tween crewmem­bers and fully pre­pare them to rec­og­nize and mit­i­gate risks en­coun­tered dur­ing flights.

SALTWIRE NET­WORK FILE PHOTO

The Trans­porta­tion Safety Board has is­sued a re­port on a April 2016 crash in Gan­der.

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