The first death involving an airplane in Canada was at Victoria, BC, on 6 August 1913, when American barnstormer John M. Bryant was killed in the crash of his Curtiss seaplane.
In subsequent fatal accidents the small-load capacities of the aircraft minimized the number of deaths, but when aircraft became larger, and their commercial use became more common, crashes assumed horrendous proportions. Canada's first major air disaster occurred on 25 August 1928 when a Ford Trimotor flew into Puget Sound in bad weather; 7 persons were killed.
This list is limited and does not mention the 1954 mid-air collision over the city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. A NATO Harvard training plane and a Trans Canada Air-Lines North Star collided in clear weather with the loss of thirty-seven lives. The airliner crashed into a home on Third Avenue Northeast, killing Martha Hadwen, the only fatality from Moose Jaw. Ross School, with 350 students was a mere 400 feet from the crash site. Many Moose Jaw residents witnessed the collision. If you are interested in reading the full story about this specific incident, Larry Shaak, a local Moose Jaw resident has written a very detailed book. More information here: Mid Air Moose Jaw.
The worst commercial airline accident in Canada involving Canadian aircraft was at Ste-Thérèse-de-Blainville, Québec, on 29 November 1963, when a Trans-Canada Airlines DC-8F crashed 4 minutes after takeoff from Montréal International (Dorval) Airport, killing all 118 persons aboard. The cause of the crash was never satisfactorily explained. At Toronto on 5 July 1970 an Air Canada DC-8 made a heavy landing, bounced and lost one starboard engine. In the pilot's attempt to take off and land again, the other starboard engine fell off and the aircraft crashed, killing all 109 persons aboard.
The worst air disaster associated with Canada and the third worst in history was the explosion, likely from a terrorist bomb, of Air India Flight 182 from Toronto on 23 June 1985. The plane crashed into the North Atlantic off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 on board, including 280 Canadians. The incident resulted in major increases in airport security. Later that year, which was the worst for accidents in aviation history, a chartered DC-8 carrying 256 passengers, 248 of them US soldiers, crashed after takeoff from Gander, Nfld. All were killed in the worst air disaster over Canadian soil. Disturbing rumours of the aircraft's previous record of mechanical difficulties followed the crash.
Some disasters are notable for reasons other than casualty figures. The crash of a Pan-Arctic Oils Lockheed Electra (Rea Point, NWT, 30 October 1974) was the worst accident involving a noncommercial aircraft; 32 of the 34 persons aboard were lost. Twenty-three persons were killed on 9 September 1949 when a Québec Airways DC-3 was sabotaged with a bomb and exploded and crashed near St-Joachim, Québec. J.A. Guay and 2 accomplices were convicted and hanged.
In the modern air force, a crash occurred when a 435 Squadron C-130 Hercules transport aircraft crashed near CFS Alert, NWT (now Nunavut), on 30 October 1991 during Operation Boxtop, a resupply mission. Five persons were killed; the rescue of 13 survivors, conducted in Arctic twilight and terrible weather conditions, has been considered a modern epic of heroism.
Canadian Encyclopedia and Flyvertosset
Mon, Oct 17 2011 1:05 PM
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