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Air Canada A320 landed over 1,000ft short

Canadian investigators are trying to understand why an Air Canada Airbus A320 landed substantially short of the runway during an approach to Halifax.

The aircraft touched down around 1,100ft (330m) before the runway, hitting an antenna and losing its main landing-gear before reaching the runway.

It skidded on its fuselage underside for another 1,100ft before coming to a halt.

The antenna was part of the instrument landing system, says Transportation Safety Board of Canada senior investigator Mike Cunningham.

“It went through that antenna array,” he adds. “That impact actually took off the main landing-gear, so there was quite a bit of damage done.”

He adds that he believes an electrical power line was severed, but is unable to give any further details.

Both flight recorders have been retrieved and transferred to an engineering facility in Ottawa for preliminary analysis.

Meteorological data for Halifax at the time of the landing, at night on 29 March, show reduced visibility and strong winds from the north-west, including gusts in the region of 30kt.

The crew of the flight from Toronto delayed the arrival, entering a holding pattern before conducting the approach.

Investigators have not confirmed the type of approach made by the aircraft.

Air Canada chief operating officer Klaus Goersch says: “The aircraft did circle for a period of time but, when the approach was initiated, the weather was at the approach minimums.”

NOTAMs for Halifax list the ILS for runway 23 as being out of service following the accident.

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