Investigation report: March 2019 loss of control during rollout at Halifax/Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia

News provided by Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 9 October 2019 – Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A19A0012) on the 4 March 2019 loss of control during rollout of a Boeing 767-375 aircraft at Halifax/Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia.

The TSB conducted a limited-scope, fact-gathering investigation into this occurrence to advance transportation safety through greater awareness of potential safety issues.


Loss of control during rollout
Air Canada
Boeing 767-375, C-FTCA
Halifax/Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia
04 March 2019

History of the flight

At 1551Footnote1 on 04 March 2019, the Air Canada Boeing 767-375 aircraft (registration C-FTCA, serial number 24307), operating as flight ACA614, departed Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport (CYYZ), Ontario, for an instrument flight rules flight to Halifax/Stanfield International Airport (CYHZ), Nova Scotia, with 2 flight crew members, 6 cabin crew members and 211 passengers on board.

At approximately 1738, the weather at CYHZ was below approach minimums for the runway in use at the estimated time of arrival, so the aircraft entered a holding pattern to wait for the weather conditions to improve as forecast. At approximately 1814, the weather conditions had improved sufficiently to conduct an approach and the Moncton Area Control Centre (ACC) controller provided vectors for an approach to Runway 32, which the crew accepted.

At 1817:03, as the aircraft was proceeding to Runway 32, the Halifax terminal controllerFootnote2 issued the crew the CYHZ aerodrome special meteorological report (SPECI) from 1809, which indicated visibility 1¼ statute miles (SM) in light freezing drizzle and mist; vertical visibility 200 feet above ground level (AGL); temperature and dew point both −1 °C. The controller added the current winds—wind 350° magnetic (M) at 20 knots, gusting to 30 knots, and the altimeter setting of 29.14 inches of mercury. The terminal controller also offered the crew the option of landing on Runway 23, because it had just become available. Runway 23 is longer than Runway 32, and has a precision approach system with lower approach minimums. However, Runway 23 had a crosswind component of 17 knots gusting to 26 knots, and a tailwind of 10 knots gusting to 15 knots. Because of the longer runway and the precision approach, the crew accepted vectors for the category II precision approach to Runway 23. The crew adjusted the aircraft’s instruments to the required settings and briefed the Runway 23 approach.

At 1817:36, the Halifax terminal controller relayed the runway surface condition (RSC) report that was issued at 1808Footnote3 for Runway 23 to both the occurrence crew and the crew of an Embraer aircraft that was flying ahead of it. Both crews were planning to land on Runway 23. The RSC for Runway 05/23 indicated a 160-foot centreline, 20% compacted snow, 80% bare and wet, remaining width 70% wet snow 1 inch, 30% bare and wet. Based on this RSC, a Canadian Runway Friction Index was not provided, nor was one required.

The Embraer aircraft landed on Runway 23 at 1822. After providing the crew with instructions to exit the runway onto Taxiway A at the end of the runway, the Halifax tower controllerFootnote4 asked the crew for comments on the approach. The crew replied, “we had the fieldFootnote5 at 300 feet; braking action was very poor, actually”. Once the aircraft was off the runway, the crew switched to the Halifax ground controller’s frequency and reported that the runway was “very, very icy; it’s basically a skating rink“.

At 1824:22, the Halifax tower controller relayed the braking action report to the crew of a DHC-8 aircraft that was on approach for Runway 32, stating that the Embraer crew reported, “lights in sight at 300 [feet] AGL on that approach, and braking action was poor on Runway 23.”

MORE: Link to full report