Key Points:

  • An Air Canada flight from Tokyo to Toronto encountered strong crosswinds during its landing at Pearson Airport, narrowly avoiding a serious incident.

  • The event, captured in a video, showed the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft rocking violently just before safely landing on the runway.

  • Air Canada confirmed the hard landing due to crosswinds and stated that the aircraft was inspected as a precaution, with no injuries reported among the 373 passengers.

Harrowing Landing at Pearson Airport for Air Canada Flight

TORONTO — Passengers aboard an Air Canada flight traveling from Tokyo to Toronto experienced a nerve-wracking moment during their landing at Pearson Airport. The flight, fraught with strong wind conditions, narrowly escaped a critical situation. The dramatic event was captured in a video posted on the aviation YouTube channel Wake Turbulence Aviation, depicting the scene on Pearson's runway 06L/24R on November 13.

The video, seemingly recorded from a position south of Convair Drive facing north, shows the Air Canada flight (AC2) approaching the runway. The Boeing 777-300ER, concluding its nearly 12-hour journey, experienced severe turbulence with its wings rocking violently under strong crosswinds of 17 knots (31.5 km/h), gusting up to 26 knots (48 km/h), just before making contact with the tarmac amidst a cloud of tire smoke.

Pilots' Swift Response and Airline's Statement

The skillful response of the pilots to the rapidly changing wind conditions was crucial in avoiding a potential disaster. Their quick actions ensured the safety of flight AC2, keeping it from becoming a tragic incident in aviation history. Despite the alarming situation, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Pearson Airport, declined to comment on the occurrence, referring inquiries to Air Canada.

In response, a representative from Air Canada confirmed to blogTO that "Air Canada flight AC002 from Narita experienced a hard landing due to crosswinds on arrival at Toronto Pearson on Nov. 13." The airline further stated that, although the aircraft taxied normally to the gate after landing, it was removed from service for a comprehensive inspection as a precaution. Importantly, there were no injuries reported among the 373 passengers on board. Air Canada also noted that it is conducting a review of the event, including adhering to regulatory reporting requirements, emphasizing that its pilots are trained professionals capable of safely handling adverse wind conditions.

The aircraft used for the return journey to Narita International Airport in Tokyo was different from the one in the landing video. Interestingly, the replacement aircraft, another Boeing 777, had its own history at Pearson Airport. Remarkably, this particular aircraft, registration C-FJZS, was previously involved in a minor runway incursion incident at Pearson on March 7, 2020, while operating as AC Flight 606. Pearson Airport has a record of safety, with the last major crash occurring in August 2005 involving Air France Flight 358, which resulted in serious injuries but no fatalities. The last fatal crash at the airport dates back over 40 years, to the June 1983 crash of a Douglas C-47 cargo plane, which claimed the lives of both crew members.