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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:59 am

Air Canada Flight 621 Crash (1970)

Tue Oct 23, 2001 6:41 am

Does anyone know where I can access detailed information about the crash of Air Canada, Flight
621 (Montreal-Toronto-Los Angeles) in July, 1970?
I am especially interested in information about the
passengers (list) and flight deck/cabin crew of

Also, a question. Why did the flight crew elect to
take-off again at Pearson after the DC-8 "slammed"
down onto the runway at landing? Wouldn't it have
been safer to stop the aircraft then and there and evacuate? Why did the flight crew proceed with
the ill-fated "go-around"?? Did AC621 explode in
mid-air or upon impact?

Any information would be appreciated. thanks!
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RE: Air Canada Flight 621 Crash (1970)

Tue Oct 23, 2001 7:15 am

From my limited understanding of that accident, before touchdown, the spoilers deployed too early, causing the hard landing, which caused at least one of the engines to fall off. After that, because the airplane was so much lighter missing at least one engine, it basically bounced back up into the air, and they had no way of putting it down. I could be way off on this, but that's what I remember reading a long time ago about this accident.
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RE: Air Canada Flight 621 Crash (1970)

Tue Oct 23, 2001 7:19 am

Some other info...
buhh bye
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RE: Air Canada Flight 621 Crash (1970)

Tue Oct 23, 2001 8:21 am

The DC-8 had a system whereby one could 'arm' the spoilers for automatic deployment at touchdown. To activate this, the second officer would pull halfway up on a handle; pulling it full up deploys the spoilers then and there. When flight 621 was 60 feet off the ground the captain called for arming; unfortunately the s/o applied full deployment, causing the aircraft to impact hard, hitting the wingtip and one of the outboard engines on the pavement. This caused a fuel rupture and fire on one wing. From what I read, it seems as if the flight crew had no way to visually assess the situation and elected to do a go- around. As they were lining up to land again, the fire spread and there were onboard explosions causing the loss of the aircraft.

The captain was Pete Hamilton, as I recall. The aircraft was a fairly new (at the time) DC-8-63.
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RE: Air Canada Flight 621 Crash (1970)

Tue Oct 23, 2001 10:03 am

The above comments are essentially as I remember the incident. As I recall, it exploded during the downwind leg at an altitude of 3000 feet, but by all means check out the report.

I was a college student living in Montreal at the time, but working in BC during the summer months. My dad called Sunday afternoon to tell me that one of friends, Steve Simon, was aboard the flight, on his way from Montreal to Los Angeles. He had dinner at my parents' house just the Thursday prior to the flight. He told them that on Sunday "at 7 am I'll be on that bird to LA" (that was the scheduled departure time from YUL)

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RE: Air Canada Flight 621 Crash (1970)

Tue Oct 23, 2001 10:26 am


Here's another link on the accident, and there's also another link on this page to a CVR transcript of AC621.

There was a book back in the mid-1970s about the Turkish DC-10 crash near Paris in 1974, and the hows/whys of the DC-10 cargo door debacle. In discussing it, they also made mention of other corporate shennigans with other Douglas aircraft programs, including the DC-6 (CO-2 fire extinguishers) and DC-8 (poor spoiler handle design and deployment). On the latter topic, I think I recall the book stating that the AC621 crew went around on the belief that they'd only had a hard landing (and subsequent #4 engine failure) and not an engine *separation*. By reading the CVR transcript, one could maybe see that, but in the absence of any official report, it's just speculation.

I looked on the sites for Transport Canada (their FAA) and their Transportation Safety Board (TSB, their NTSB), but couldn't find anything that went back that far.

BTW, the name of that DC-10 book is "Destination Disaster."
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RE: Air Canada Flight 621 Crash (1970)

Tue Oct 23, 2001 11:08 am

My grandmother tells me about this crash all the time, her neighbour and his entire family from Montreal perished in that crash.

It was a special flight, packed with AC employees, mostly engineers and mainteance supervisors on their way to a convention in LA, as there was lots of room, they all brought their families for a trip to California and Disneyland etc.

Its eeire, last few words on the CVR were from the F/O to the Capt. "Im sorry"

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