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Air Canada Incident

Fri Mar 03, 2000 12:59 am

Some years ago an Air Canada 767 made a forced landing on a disused airstrip following fuel exhaustion. The glide approach was apparently quite a feat of airmanship thanks to the Co-Pilot's experience on gliders.

Where can I get more information on this incident - and does anyone know if the accident report is available online.

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RE: Air Canada Incident

Fri Mar 03, 2000 1:07 am

A full review of the incident is included in the book "Emergency, Crisis in the Cockpit" by Stanley Stewart. I have the book and it's a good read for a layman, though some more technical sources may also be available.

RE: Air Canada Incident

Fri Mar 03, 2000 1:35 am

You may want to check the archives on this forum. We discussed this incident a few weeks back and there was a lot of good information and a few photos of the 767 after landing.
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RE: Air Canada Incident

Fri Mar 03, 2000 2:14 am

As mentioned, try searching to forum. The 767 was (and still is) known as the Gimli Glider, so maybe try searching for that.

Also, I may be wrong, but I believe it was the Captain who was the experienced glider pilot. Captain Pearson, if I remember right. Again, if my memory serves me right, that aircraft was the only 767 ever to perform a side-slip (manoevre).
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RE: Air Canada Incident

Fri Mar 03, 2000 4:00 am

Yes, AC183 is right. The Captain was Bob Pearson (now retired). The 767-200 was only 3 months old and ran out of fuel because of confusion in converting metric and imperial figures.

Capt. Pearson was a glider instructor (I am a glider pilot myself) and treated the a/c much like a glider on the landing. He had no power to activate flaps/spoilers, so he had to enter into a sideslip. If anyone doesn't know what a sideslip is, basically you move the rudder pedals and the stick in the oppositte direction of each other. The a/c is therefore slowed by the high amount of deflection. The nose will be pushed to the side you are deflecting the rudder, but it will continue to fly straight because of the counteracting aileron.

Some (cheap) gliders have spoilers that only affect rate of descent but don't affect airspeed. So that is why Capt. Pearson was able to come up with the sideslip to slow down the aircraft on the approach.
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Fri Mar 03, 2000 4:12 am

Whoops. Now I think about it realize my mistake.
A sideslip doesn't really affect airspeed at all but DOES rapidly increase the rate of descent. It is used a lot when gliding (gliders are almost always too high on final-there is no second chance!).

My appoligies for the confusion I may have caused.

BTW there was a 1/2 hour interview between Bob Pearson and Peter Mansbridge on CBC a few months ago...
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RE: Air Canada Incident

Fri Mar 03, 2000 4:26 am

This incident was the topic of a book entitled "Freefall". I don't remember the author or publisher and can't check because I'm in my office at the moment. I'll post the rest of the information when I get home and find the book.

RE: Air Canada Incident

Fri Mar 03, 2000 4:53 am

The authors of the book "Freefall" are William and Marilyn Mona Hoffer. It is published my St. Martin's Press. It has a copyright date of 1989.
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Fri Mar 03, 2000 9:06 am

Aircraft Registration is C-GAUN, Fleet # 604 built in 1983.
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