A320 by Lord of the Wings© (license CC by-sa)
The aircraft was evacuated. 25 people were injured and taken to a hospital, the aircraft sustained substantial damage (all landing gear collapsed, left hand engine separated, wing damaged, horizontal stabilizer damaged).
The aircraft had been holding west of Halifax prior to commencing the approach waiting for weather (visibility) to improve.
Halifax Airport later confirmed an accident on the longer runway 05/23 (length 3200 meters/10,500 feet), which as result of the accident closed.
The shorter runway 14/32 (length 2350 meters/7,700 feet) was opened about 5.5 hours after the accident. There were a number of minor injuries. Due to the power line cut, the airport was without power for about 90 minutes until power was restored.
The airline confirmed the aircraft suffered a runway 'excursion' on landing in Halifax, 23 passengers and crew were taken to hospitals, 18 were later discharged from hospital.
The Canadian TSB dispatched a team of investigators to Halifax and immediately opened an investigation into the accident.
On Mar 31st 2015 the Canadian TSB reported the on site work has been finished, the aircraft is expected to be removed in the next few days.
The board reiterated: "On 29 March 2015, at approximately 1240 a.m., Air Canada flight ACA 624, an Airbus A320, on a scheduled flight from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, collided with terrain approximately 1100 feet from the threshold of Runway 05, eventually coming to rest about 1100 feet down the runway. There were 133 passengers and 5 crew members on board; all of whom exited the aircraft. Twenty-five people were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries. The initial impact was significant and caused substantial damage to the aircraft. The main landing gear separated and the underside of the aircraft was heavily damaged (fuselage and wings). During this impact, the aircraft collided with a localizer antenna array – part of the instrument landing system – and became airborne again, travelling forward on Runway 05. There is an extensive debris field between the localizer antenna location and the threshold of the runway." An aerial photo taken by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and published by the TSB (see below) shows the tail section of the aircraft impacted the slope of the embankment about 760 feet short of the runway threshold slightly below the runway level with no other ground tracks from that point to Old Guysborough Road possibly suggesting the aircraft became airborne again between point of first ground contact 1100 feet before runway threshold and point of first impact 760 feet before the runway threshold. Another aerial shot by RCMP shows the aircraft on the left edge of the runway past taxiway B about 1800 feet down the runway.
Halifax's runway 05 features a LOC or NDB non precision instrument approach (no glideslope available, common LOC frequency with ILS runway 23), runway 23 offers a CAT II ILS approach, runway 14 offers a CAT I ILS approach.
Sources RCMP, TSA, Aeroinsider,CBC,CNS
JULIAN BRAY ++44(0)1733 345581, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Operations Expert, Travel / Cruise Industry, EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast COOBE ISDN ++44 (0)1733 345020 (DUAL CODEC) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Cell: 07944 217476 or iPhone 0743 530 3145 #VENDOR 10476453 http://feeds.feedburner.com/BraysDuckhouseBlog