Archive for Monday, August 8, 2005

Landing, weather focus of crash investigation

August 8, 2005


— Investigators studying last week's Air France crash at the Toronto airport said it would have been virtually impossible for the pilot to have stopped the airliner after landing too far down the very rain-slicked runway.

Air France Flight 358 from Paris landed at Lester B. Pearson International Airport amid heavy thunderstorms, skidding off the runway at Canada's busiest airport and then slamming into a ravine and catching on fire. None of the 309 passengers and crew members died.

"The runway is about 9,000 feet long, so touching down long at 4,000 feet ... under those conditions I am pretty convinced that there was no way the aircraft was going to be able to stop before the end of the runway," said Real Levasseur, chief of Canada's Transportation Safety Board team investigating the Aug. 2 crash.

Levasseur said that if the runway was dry and all the landing equipment - such as reverse thrusters, wing spoilers and breaks were in order - an aircraft the size of the Airbus A340 would have been able to successfully land with only 5,000 feet.

"With the water on the runway ... at that point there was no way that this airplane could have stopped before the end," he told a news conference.


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