Backgrounders

AIR FRANCE INCIDENT IN TORONTO, ONTARIO (A05H0002) - RECOMMENDATIONS

On August 2, 2005, the Air France Airbus A340-313 aircraft departed Paris, France, at 11:53 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as Air France Flight 358 on a scheduled flight to Toronto, Ontario, with 297 passengers and 12 crew members on board. Before departure, the flight crew members obtained their arrival weather forecast, which included the possibility of thunderstorms.

While approaching Toronto, the flight crew was advised of weather-related delays. During landing, the aircraft travelled through an area of heavy rain, and visual contact with the runway environment was significantly reduced. There were numerous lightning strikes occurring, particularly at the far end of the runway. The aircraft touched down about 3800 feet down the runway and was not able to stop on the 9000-foot runway. The aircraft stopped in a ravine and all passengers and crew members were able to evacuate the aircraft before a fire destroyed the aircraft. In all, 2 crew members and 10 passengers were seriously injured during the crash and the ensuing evacuation.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation led to seven recommendations with respect to standards and training in landings in deteriorating weather, adding safety area or means of stopping to all Code 4* runways and modifying passenger safety briefings to include clear direction to leave all carry-on baggage behind during an evacuation.

Board Recommendations

The Department of Transport establish clear standards limiting approaches and landings in convective weather for all air transport operators at Canadian airports.

(A07-01)

France's Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile and other civil aviation authorities establish clear standards limiting approaches and landings in convective weather.

(A07-02)

The Department of Transport mandate training for all pilots involved in Canadian air transport operations to better enable them to make landing decisions in deteriorating weather.

(A07-03)

France's Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile and other civil aviation authorities mandate training for air transport pilots to better enable them to make landing decisions in deteriorating weather.

(A07-04)

The Department of Transport and other civil aviation authorities require crews to establish the margin of error between landing distance available and landing distance required before conducting an approach into deteriorating weather.

(A07-05)

The Department of Transport require all Code 4 runways to have a 300 m runway end safety area (RESA) or a means of stopping aircraft that provides an equivalent level of safety.

(A07-06)

The Department of Transport require that passenger safety briefings include clear direction to leave all carry-on baggage behind during an evacuation.

(A07-07)

- 30 -

The public report A05H0002, communiqué and photos are also available on this site. A flight animation can also be viewed on this site.


*   A Code 4 runway is one that is in excess of 2400 metres.