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Air Canada Flight 189
was an Air Canada
Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's tenth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a...
flight from Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...
. On June 26, 1978 it crashed on takeoff in Toronto killing two passengers.
During takeoff at 8:15 a.m. one of the DC-9-32's tires burst and partially disintegrated, firing chunks of rubber into the landing gear mechanism. This set off an "unsafe gear" warning, prompting the pilot to abort the takeoff. However, the aircraft was already two thirds along the length of runway 24R and travelling at 154 knots. It could not stop before the end of the runway, and plunged off the edge of an embankment still travelling at 60 knots, eventually coming to a rest in the Etobicoke Creek
Etobicoke Creek is one of the many creeks running through Toronto, Ontario and the Toronto Area into Lake Ontario, often characterized by their winding paths through deep ravines and distinctive shale banks....
A ravine is a landform narrower than a canyon and is often the product of streamcutting erosion. Ravines are typically classified as larger in scale than gullies, although smaller than valleys. A ravine is generally a fluvial slope landform of relatively steep sides, on the order of twenty to...
. The plane broke in three pieces, but despite its full load of fuel did not catch fire. The accident was visible from Highway 401, which runs alongside the south side of the airport. (Note: At the time of the crash runway 24R was numbered 24L, and the present runway 23 was numbered 24R. This was changed when a new runway was constructed on the south side of the airfield, and was numbered 24L)
The plane was destroyed and two passengers were killed: 73 year old J. Frank Scrase of Victoria died when a rib punctured his heart, and 45 year old Irwin Theodore Childs of North York
North York is a dissolved municipality within the current city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Geographically, it comprises the central part of the northern section of Toronto. As of the 2006 Census, it has a population of 635,370. The official 2001 census count was 608,288...
died of suffocation when he was wedged beneath the seat in front of him. Both were seated at the site of the forward split in the fuselage. Most of the other 105 passengers and crew aboard were injured.
The subsequent investigation found multiple causes of the accident. It recommended greater scrutiny be given to the tires. The pilot, Reginald W. Stewart, delayed four seconds after the warning light came on before he chose to abort the takeoff; a more immediate decision would have prevented the accident. The investigators also criticized the level of training in emergency braking. The presence of the ravine at the end of the runway was also questioned, but nothing was done. This failure to expand the airport's overshoot zone was raised when Air France Flight 358
Air France Flight 358, a flight from Paris, France, to Toronto, Canada, using an Airbus A340 airliner, departed Paris without incident at 11:53 UTC 2 August 2005, later touching down on runway 24L-06R at Toronto Pearson International Airport at 20:01 UTC...
plunged into the same ravine 27 years later.
Although it is customary for airlines to retire a flight number after a major incident, Air Canada continues to use Flight 189 for its Ottawa-Vancouver route and it uses and Airbus A321 aircraft instead of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32. However, the flight no longer has stopovers in Toronto and Winnipeg.