Terrible accident at Canada airport | Air France Airbus A340 Crash In Toronto | Plane Crash 2005 Canada

Case Study

2 August 2005,

Air France flight number 358 was a regular flight from Paris, France to Toronto, Canada.

About 6 years old Airbus A 340 series plane was being used for this flight that day.

This aircraft took its first flight in August 1999, after which the plane was given to France airline in September 1999.

The captain of flight that day was 57-year-old Captain Alain R, who had over 15,000 hours of skilled flying experience. 

First officer Frederic N was accompanying the captain as co-pilot in the flight. Co Pilot Frederic N also had 4500 hours of skilled experience.

Along with both the pilots in the cockpit, a child named Miles T was also traveling for free. That child was the son of an employee of Air france.

That day there were 12 crew members on board the flight with 297 passengers. Most of the passengers traveling in the flight were business persons or students. 

Everything was operating normally in the flight and the passengers were enjoying the refreshments and other entertainment facilities of the flight. 

Slowly the flight now starts preparing to land at Toronto Airport. 

But suddenly the weather conditions turned very bad at the Toronto airport. Sudden rain and storm accompanied by strong winds engulfed the entire area. The weather suddenly turned so bad that the airport authorities issued a RED warning at the airport. All ground staff were prohibited from doing any work near the plane so that there would be no danger to anyone’s life or property due to lightning. 

Approximately 540 flights to and from Toronto Airport were canceled due to the inclement weather.

Many small and medium-sized flights were diverted to Ottawa and Winnipeg airports. 

The large size flights were asked to divert and land at Montreal and New York airports. 

Apart from this, many incoming flights were also sent back to Vancouver Airport. 

Flight 358 now slowly enters into toronto’s airspace and waits for ATC tower’s permission to land at the airport. 

After this, according to the normal process, the ATIS message is sent by ATC to the pilots of the flights. 

Through the ATIS message given from the ATC tower, the pilots are normally informed about the weather, wind direction and speed of the air around the airport. 

Usually pilots use this information to determine the landing speed and flap position of the plane so that the plane can land safely.

Now that according to the ATIS message the weather at Toronto airport was very bad, the ATC controller asked Flight 358 to fly in a holding pattern to wait for some more time. 

After waiting for some time, the ATC controller finally gives permission to Flight 358 to land on the runway 24L.  

Now slowly reducing its altitude, Flight 358 starts moving towards the runway. 

From here the first officer Frederic N takes control of the flight and very carefully start bringing the plane slowly towards the airport runway  Due to heavy rain, storm and winds, the plane started shaking. 

Looking at this, the passengers got really panic and started to pray for the flight to land safely. 

It is probably very difficult to even imagine what goes through the mind of passengers caught in such a horrible situation.

After going through bad weather and strong winds, the plane somehow reaches the runway. 

In preparation for the landing, the first officer now sets the flaps and lowers the landing gears. 

The plane is now only moments away from the runway and to bring the plane under full manual control, the first officer turns off the auto landing and auto throttle modes. 

On reaching close to the runway, the pilots ask for the ATC permission one last time to land on the assigned runway. 

The ATC controller gives clearance  to the Air France pilot to land on the runway 24L, but at the same time, he also warns the Air France pilots that the pilots of other flights have said that the wind on the runway is very strong. Due to that heavy wind, it is very difficult to stop the plane after landing. ATC controller asked Air France pilots to be very careful and adjust their speed & brakes to stop properly after landing. 

Shaking in the storm, the plane begins to descend rapidly towards the runway. 

The first officer tries it’s best to land the plane, but due to the strong winds coming ahead of the plane, the tires still couldn’t touch the runway.

Seeing the runway ending very fast, the captain asks the first officer to land the plane quickly. 

Till now more than half of the runway was over. The captain again shouts and asks first officer to land the plane. 

And finally the screeching tires touch the runway. 

At an extremely high speed of 160km/hr, the plane starts running towards the end of runway. 

The runway was about to end but the plane was still running at a very high speed. 

Due to bad weather and in the tension of landing, the pilots could not apply the emergency brake straight after the landing.  

And what was feared finally happened.  

The speeding plane broke the boundary of the runway and fell into a ditch. 

Straight after falling into the ditch, Fuel leaking from the wings of the plane catches fire. After the plain stopped and as soon as the cabin crew recovers their senses, they immediately open the emergency door and start evacuating the passengers from the plane. 

Unfortunately, the slides of the emergency doors did not open and many passengers had to jump from the plane to save their lives. 

Due to the promptness and responsibility of the cabin crew, all the passengers got out of the plane safely. 

By then the emergency vehicles of the airport also reach the crash site and quickly start relief and rescue work. 

The ditch in which the plane crashed was built on the side of a highway.Due to which many injured passengers and the pilot of the plane came running on the highway.  

People on the highway quickly took the injured passengers to the hospital and due to timely treatment all 297 passengers and 12 cabin crew members were saved.  

It was no less than a miracle that no passenger or cabin crew lost their lives in such a horrific accident

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered soon after the incident and sent to France for examination. 

In the preliminary investigation, the main cause of the accident was found to be the plane landing 1200 meters ahead of the runway landing point. 

Landing after the middle of runway, the plane could not be stopped before the runway end. This caused the plane crashed into the ditch and caught fire.  

There was also a rumor that after landing, the pilot delayed applying the reverse brake for 12 seconds, due to which the plane couldn’t stop before the runway ends. However, there was no confirmation of this theory in the official report. 

Whatever may be the reason, but it was a miracle that despite such a terrible accident and fire in the plane, all the passengers and crew members were saved alive.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *