Air Canada 'rough landing' caused by faulty tire, officials say

A blown tire was to blame for a rough landing that hurt three people — a conclusion passengers wish had come sooner.

Airline will no longer use retreads after blown tire injured passengers

The Air Canada Express plane, shortly after passengers were evacuated from the aircraft in Edmonton. (Supplied/Lee Swaile)

A blown tire was to blame for a rough landing that hurt three people — a conclusion passengers wish had come sooner.

The Transportation Safety Board released results of its investigation into a rough landing at Edmonton International Airport, when part of the propeller sheared off and crashed through the plane's fuselage.

"Excessive vibrations from a failed tire led to the collapse of the right main landing gear," reads the report released Wednesday morning.

"It's pretty crazy," said Lee Swaile, after he read the results. He was on the plane that night.

"It seems like something that shouldn't happen."
Transportation Safety Board members investigate the rough landing in November 2014. (CBC)

The Air Canada Bombardier Q400, carrying 71 passengers and four crew members, was headed from Calgary to Grande Prairie in November 2014, when it diverted to Edmonton.

A tire blew on takeoff in Calgary and high crosswinds there prevented an emergency landing in that city.

Swaile said he received an apology letter from Air Canada in the mail along with a cheque for a "a few thousand dollars."

Waited more than a year

But he and dozens of his fellow passengers waited more than a year to find out what really happened.

"Seems like it took a long time to figure that out," he said. But at least they did something I guess. Maybe it should have been done sooner."

In its report, the safety board says the airline regularly used retreaded tires including the one that exploded on take off. 

"Following the occurrence, Jazz Aviation decided to no longer use retreaded tires on the main landing gear of their DHC-8-402 fleet," wrote the TSB.

"Further, the operator made changes to its DHC-8-402 operating procedures to reduce stress on the main landing gear tires when manoeuvring on the ground. Other operators using this aircraft have adopted similar procedures to reduce main landing gear tire stress."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?