Unstable approach led to 2020 hard landing and rear fuselage strike in Schefferville, Quebec

Dorval, Quebec, 3 March 2021 — In its investigation report (A20Q0013) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that the January 2020 hard landing and rear fuselage strike in Schefferville, Quebec, was the result of an unstable approach.

From Air Inuit

On 20 January 2020, a de Havilland DHC-8-314 operated by Air Inuit Ltd. was conducting a flight from Québec/Jean Lesage Airport, Quebec, to Schefferville Airport, Quebec, with three crew members and 42 passengers on board. During the landing, the rear fuselage struck the runway as the wheels touched down. After landing, the aircraft taxied to the terminal to disembark the passengers. There were no injuries; however, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

The investigation found that the flight crew forgot to perform the descent checklist and realized this at an inopportune time, while the captain (pilot monitoring) was providing a position report. Given ambiguities and contradictions in the company’s stabilized approach guidelines, the captain interpreted that he was allowed to continue the approach below 500 feet above aerodrome elevation, even though the aircraft had not been fully configured for the landing. When the aircraft passed this altitude, the pilots, who were dealing with a heavy workload, didn’t notice and continued the approach, which was unstable. At the time of the landing, the aircraft no longer had enough energy to arrest the descent rate solely by increasing pitch attitude. The pilot’s instinctive reaction to increase the pitch attitude during the flare, combined with the hard landing, resulted in the rear fuselage striking the runway, causing substantial damage to the aircraft’s structure.

The investigation also made findings as to risk related to Air Inuit’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training, and to Transport Canada’s (TC) oversight. Transport Canada assessed Air Inuit’s SOPs, but did not identify any specific issues with the operator’s stabilized approach guidelines. If TC does not assess the quality, consistency, accuracy conciseness, clarity, relevance, and content of SOPs, the procedures may be ineffective, increasing risks to flight operations.

Additionally, the captain had not received many of the required training elements during his recurrent training. If required training elements are not included in recurrent training, and if TC’s surveillance plan does not verify the content of crew training, there may be procedural deficiencies or deviations, increasing risks to flight operations.  

Following the occurrence, Air Inuit took a number of safety actions, including the revision of its SOPs to improve guidelines on several subjects, including stabilized approaches, and the revision of its training program to ensure that all training elements are covered within the two-year recurrent training cycle.

See the investigation page for more information.

Chorus Aviation Finalizes Revisions to the Capacity Purchase Agreement With Air Canada

Jazz is sole operator of Air Canada Express flights

  • 25 Embraer 175 aircraft to be added to the Covered Aircraft fleet, increasing the fixed fee margin.
  • Jazz to provide 100% of Air Canada Express 70+ seat regional capacity until 2025.
  • Dash 8-300 aircraft to exit the Covered Aircraft fleet.
  • Controllable cost guardrail receivable capped at $20 million per year, improving working capital; +/- $2.0 million exposure is unchanged.
  • All other material components of the CPA are unchanged.

HALIFAX, NS, March 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (TSX: CHR) (‘Chorus’), parent company of Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), today confirmed the condition precedent to the revisions of the capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) between Jazz and Air Canada announced on March 1, 2021 has been met. As a result, the amended CPA is effective on a retroactive basis to January 1, 2021. The newly ratified agreement with Jazz pilots, as represented by the Air line Pilots Association International, will run until December 31, 2035.

“I extend my gratitude to our Jazz pilots and the leadership team of the Air Line Pilots Association International for securing Jazz’s place within the Air Canada Express network. This is very good news for our employees and our stakeholders,” stated Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “As the sole operator of Air Canada Express services, we look forward to integrating the Embraer 175s into our fleet and further expanding our wide portfolio of regional aviation capabilities and services.”

Revisions to the CPA include the following:

Consolidation of 25 Embraer 175s into Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • Jazz will operate the 25 E175s under the CPA.
  • Jazz is the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70+ seat aircraft until the end of 2025.
  • Fixed fees increase by $46.0 million over the term of the CPA with annual minimum fixed fees increasing by $1.2 million per year from 2021 to 2025, and by approximately $4.0 million per year from 2026 to 2035.

Removal of 19 Dash 8-300s from Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • 19 Dash 8-300s will be removed from the fleet in 2021. Removal of the Dash 8-300s will reduce future aircraft leasing revenue under the CPA by approximately $56.0 million over the remaining term of the contract.
  • Chorus owns these Dash 8-300s, 15 of which have undergone the Extended Service Program (‘ESP’) which prolongs their useful life by approximately 15 years. Chorus estimates the carrying value of these aircraft to be approximately $65.0 million, and can sell, lease, or convert them for cargo operations.

Controllable Cost Guardrail Receivable

  • The controllable cost guardrail receivable is capped to a maximum of $20.0 million annually and is reconciled on a quarterly basis and paid in the following quarter. This will avoid the accumulation of a receivable in excess of the agreed maximum. The +/-$2.0 million controllable cost guardrail exposure is unchanged.

As a result of these revisions to the CPA, Chorus anticipates one-time costs, charges, and other fees to range between $100.0 million and $110.0 million, with approximately half of this range being non-cash in nature, and the cash portion paid over several years. The non-cash component includes an estimated $45.0 million impairment provision on the Dash 8-300s and supporting inventory, and a non-cash defined benefit pension curtailment expense related to the number and demographics of pilots opting for early retirement estimated to be between $10.0 and $15.0 million. Approximately $49.0 million in one-time cash costs are anticipated on account of cash payments to incentivize the early departure of Jazz senior pilots enrolled in the defined benefit pension plan, as well as a contract fee payable to Air Canada related to the transfer and integration of the E175 fleet.

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

Wheel takes flight after falling off Air Canada plane

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

No one was injured on flight, plane landed safely

CBC News · Posted: Jan 04, 2020

Jazz Aviation said one of the two wheels on the left main landing gear fell during takeoff, but that the pilots never lost control of the aircraft. (@caf_tom/Twitter)

An Air Canada flight from Montreal to Saguenay, Que. was forced to turn around Friday after a technical issue made one of its wheels fall off seconds after takeoff.

In a statement, Air Canada subsidiary Jazz Aviation said one of the two wheels on the left main landing gear fell off just after the plane went airborne. 

The incident was captured on video by a passenger.

In the footage, flames are seen coming from the wheel prior to takeoff. One passenger comments that the wheel appears to be fine, before it promptly falls off the landing gear.

Another passenger can be heard saying: “It fell, it fell!”

The plane was carrying 49 passengers and three crew members at the time. No one was injured. 

The aircraft circled in the air to consume fuel before returning to Montreal, where it safely landed. Emergency crews had been on the scene as a precaution.

“Our experienced pilots kept complete control of the aircraft. Our pilots are trained to react to such situations and reacted conforming to proper procedure,” Jazz Aviation Spokesperson Manon Stuart said in an email.

The airplane, a Dash 8-300 model, normally has six wheels: two on each of the three landing gears, located on the left, right, and front of the plane.

Another airplane was dispatched to Montreal to get the passengers to their destination.

The company said it will inspect the plane and do the necessary repairs.

With files from Radio-Canada