Thursday, 2 April 2015

'Hard Landing' or Crash? Air Canada Threaten Legal Action

Leading air accident investigators say the say the 133 passengers on an Air Canada Airbus A320 had a very lucky escape when the plane crashed short of the runway at Halifax last week. 

The Airbus A320 was completely written off when it came down late on Saturday night after the impact sheared off its landing gear, an engine and its nose cone. 

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Air Canada’s executives have downplayed the incident by calling it  a “hard landing” as well as threatening legal action against passengers and journalists who have called it a crash. 

Passenger Mike Magnus was sitting in the front row of the A320 said “This was not a hard landing. This was an actual crash. There is no doubt in my mind. It was the closest I’ve ever come to death.”

A former accident investigator with the UK's CAA told Air 101 "There are hard landings and there are crashes and this is most definitely the latter. To pretend this is anything but, is misleading and dangerous." 

Mike Cunningham, a regional manager for Canada's Transport Safety Board, said initial reports showed that Flight AC624 came down approximately  300m short of the runway at Halifax's Stanfield International Airport. “They touched down 1,100 feet short of the runway so I'd say they're pretty lucky,” The aircraft hit a number of antennas, causing the main landing gear to sheer off before sliding on its belly on to the runway for another 1,100 feet before coming to a stop.

There was significant damage to the aircraft and whilst weather conditions were stormy this should not have impacted the flight.

"Air Canada are greatly relieved that there have been no critical injuries as a result of this incident,” said airline chief operating officer Klaus Goersch, yet the airlines legal representatives have fired off a series of letters threatening action if journalists call the incident a 'crash'. We are supposed to use the term 'Heavy Landing' according to the letter as this is the official technical term for what happened. However, heavy landings occur on runways, when a plane comes down a long way short of a runway, its a crash.

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