Air France Flight 358: Miracle at Toronto Pearson

On 2nd August 2005, an Air France Airbus A340 crashed after skidding off the runway at Toronto Pearson Worldwide Airport. The quad-jet skidded off the runway resulting from unfavourable climate situations, and the poor touchdown selections made by the pilots. Trying on the plane’s wreckage, it appears miraculous that nobody misplaced their lives throughout the incident.

Flight Particulars

The Airbus A340-300, with registration F-GLZQ, was performing Air France Flight 358 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Toronto Pearson. A complete of 309 folks have been on board together with 297 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The crew member consisted of Captain Alain Rosaye (57-year-old), who had 15,411 whole flight hours, and First Officer Frédéric Naud (43-year-old), who had 4,834 hours of flight time.

The climate was inclement at Pearson that day and thunderstorms have been forecasted for arrival throughout the pre-flight inspection. As many as 540 flights have been cancelled at Pearson on the identical day. Many of the widebody plane have been diverted to New York, Montreal and Syracuse whereas the smaller plane have been diverted to close by Canadian airports in Hamilton, Ottawa, and Winnipeg.

The quad-jet landed on Runway 24L throughout inclement climate – extreme winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms close by. Runway 24L is the shortest runway at Toronto Pearson, 2,743 metres (9,000 toes) in size. Provided that the climate was inclement, the plane touched down farther alongside the runway and overshot the top of the runway. The A340 continued on for an additional 300 meters earlier than it got here to relaxation within the Etobicoke Creek ravine at a pace of 148 km/h.

Air France Flight 358 Touchdown sequence key occasions

Even earlier than touchdown, the plane was rocking backward and forward as reported by some passengers on board, presumably resulting from turbulence and powerful winds related to the thunderstorms close by. The crew had heard that heavy precipitation was inflicting the runway to have poor traction. After receiving the report from an plane earlier than them, the pilots retook guide management of the plane for touchdown. One of many passengers described the incident as like a “automotive accident, but it surely retains going and going, continuous.”

After the plane got here to relaxation, the crew seen hearth outdoors and started the evacuation course of. In the course of the evacuation course of, one of many proper center exit slides turned punctured by the particles of the plane. Equally, one of many left slides didn’t deploy and people on board have been additionally unable to make use of the 2 rear left exits as a result of hearth. A number of the passengers have been pressured to leap from the plane. Everybody on board evacuated the plane throughout the 90-second time-frame, and the primary officer was the final individual to depart the airplane.

Air France Flight 358 Crash Web site

A Miracle Certainly

Trying on the crash website, it was miraculous that nobody misplaced their lives throughout the crash and evacuation. Nevertheless, two of the crew members and 10 passengers have been severely injured within the incident.

“I might say it is a miracle.”

Jean Lapierre, the Federal Transport Minister

The plane was considerably broken throughout the runway overrun and the post-crash hearth consumed many of the higher portion of the primary fuselage, vertical fin, and inside wing sections. The rear portion of the fuselage on the left aspect was consumed by hearth. Despite the fact that the hearth was intense, it was primarily restricted to the fuselage. In the course of the incident, there was no main injury to the runway or blast pad on the finish of the runway. Solely the runway and strategy lights have been broken.

Though many of the wreckage was found throughout the radius of the plane, there have been a number of small elements within the discipline earlier than the ravine. Main break-up of the plane passed off solely after it descended into the ravine. The plane bought engulfed by the flames and was written off. In the course of the hearth, the unpressurized portion of the rear fuselage was much less affected than the remainder of the fuselage. Each the wings remained hooked up to the fuselage apart from being broken by the hearth.

Each of the cockpit seats skilled excessive vertical forces throughout the incident. The captain seat was displaced from its regular place, as the ground of the seat base had fractured. Alongside, the nut attaching the centre screw to the underside of the bottom on the F/O seat had been pulled. These seats have been designed to resist a verticle acceleration of 5.7 g and a longitudinal acceleration of 9 g.

TSB Investigation

The Transportation Security Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this incident with the cooperation of a number of different organizations. Airbus, Air France, Transport Canada, GE Aviation, the French Division of Transport and the US Nationwide Transportation Security Board (NTSB) have been concerned within the investigation.

The investigation revolved across the strategy and touchdown within the midst of a extreme and quickly altering thunderstorm. It was discovered that there have been no procedures inside Air France associated to the space required from thunderstorms throughout approaches and touchdown, nor have been these required by rules.

After the pilot retook guide management of the plane for touchdown, the pilot flying elevated the thrust in response. Nevertheless, the elevated energy contributed to a rise in plane vitality and the plane deviated above the glide path. The plane crossed the runway threshold about 40 toes above the traditional threshold crossing top resulting from a rise in groundspeed and a change within the flight path.

Flight 358 touched down farther alongside the runway.

The landing took longer as a result of the plane floated resulting from its extra pace over the brink and since the extreme rain and lightning made visible contact with the runway severely decreased. In consequence, the plane touched down about 3,800 toes from the runway threshold, which left about 5,200 toes of runway accessible to cease. The A340 ended up skidding the runway at about 80 knots and was later destroyed by hearth.

Moreover, the next conclusions have been drawn from the investigation:

  • The pilots determined to land as they believed their go-around possibility not existed after they have been close to the brink.
  • As a result of runway being contaminated by water, the energy of the crosswind at landing exceeded the touchdown limits of the plane.
  • There was no indication that the plane was struck by lightning.
  • No indication that the plane encountered wind shear throughout its strategy and touchdown.
  • No touchdown distances are indicated on the operational flight plan for a contaminated runway situation on the airport.

Moreover, it was discovered that the topography on the finish of the runway and the realm past the top of Runway 24L contributed to plane injury and accidents to crew and passengers. In the course of the emergency train, the continual rain diluted the firefighting foam agent and decreased its effectivity in dousing the fuel-fed hearth, which ultimately destroyed many of the plane.

The investigation additionally highlighted the truth that the cockpit seats have been licensed to a decrease customary than the cabin seats. This may need been an element within the accidents incurred by the captain.

Picture Supply: TSB, Twitter


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