MONTREAL The 2015 crash landing of Air Canada flight 624, which landed short of the runway at a Halifax airport in a snowstorm injuring 25, was caused by approach procedures, poor visibility and insufficient airfield lighting, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said on Thursday.
No one was killed in the accident that took place just past midnight and sent the plane sliding along the runway at Halifax/Stanfield International Airport, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The Airbus A320 was flying from Toronto and was carrying 133 passengers and five crew members.
The plane’s crew had set the autopilot to the correct angle of descent, and left it on a little bit longer than required, TSB investigators said.
But because Air Canada’s procedures did not require the flight crew to monitor the plane’s altitude and distance to the runway, the pilots did not notice that the winds had shifted the aircraft from the correct flight path,
“The fact that the auto pilot was on a little bit longer didn’t necessarily – in and of itself play a role in this accident,” TSB Chair Kathy Fox told reporters in Halifax. “It was the fact that Air Canada procedures didn’t require the crews to crosscheck altitude versus distance.”
The runway lights at the airport were also not adjusted to their maximum setting, despite requests by the flight crew during the approach, the TSB accident report said.
Following the accident, both Air Canada and the airport’s authority took safety actions to address these deficiencies, the TSB said.
Air Canada said in a statement that it is working with “stakeholders and addressing various issues raised in the report.”
Airbus could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by W Simon and Bernard Orr)