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Air Canada A320’s floor ruptured during Halifax crash: officials

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has found no mechanical problems with an Air Canada Airbus A320 that crashed at Halifax on 29 March, but has determined that the aircraft’s cabin floor ruptured during the accident, the agency says in an accident update.

The TSB says some of the aircraft’s structural components punctured the A320’s floor on the right side of the aircraft under seat rows 31 and 33, and under the rear flight attendant’s fold-down seat.

The aircraft crashed while attempting to land during a snow storm at 00:43 local time, injuring 25 people.

The TSB says that moments before the crash the A320’s engines severed power transmission lines. The main landing gear and rear fuselage then hit snow-covered ground about 225m (738ft) prior to the runway threshold, says the TSB.

The aircraft then plowed through a localiser antennae, impacted the ground nose-down and “bounced and slid” along the runway until it stopped 570m beyond the runway threshold.

TSB says it believes the aircraft was correctly configured for landing and that its airspeed was normal. It found no mechanical problems with the aircraft or its systems.

Weather reports provided to the crew that evening forecast a 20kt wind, gusting to 26kt, from the northwest, forward visibility of 0.5 miles (0.8km) in blowing snow, and vertical visibility of 300ft, says the TSB.

The temperature that evening was forecast to be -6°C (21.2°F).

The TSB’s investigation will now focus on recreating the flight and evaluating factors such as crew training, human performance factors and crew resource management, it says.

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