OHS Canada Magazine

Engine surge led to Air Canada passenger plane’s emergency landing

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August 8, 2017
By Jeff Cottrill

Health & Safety Transportation Air Canada aircraft annex occupational health and safety ottawa pearson airport toronto Transport Canada

Transport Canada says crew, passengers were not at risk

(Canadian OH&S News) — A recent emergency landing by an Air Canada plane at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport was due to an engine surge, according to information from Transport Canada (TC).

Flight 476, a routine flight carrying 175 passengers to Ottawa, took off from Pearson on the evening of July 28, but the pilots detected “an engine anomaly” shortly after the takeoff, according to Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.

“The flight landed normally, with emergency-response vehicles on standby as a precaution and in accordance to standard procedure,” said Fitzpatrick. “The aircraft, a Boeing 767-300ER, was cleared to taxi to the gate under its own power.”

He added that the incident was reported to TC according to procedure. The federal transport ministry “has reviewed the matter and indicated no further action is required.”

In an e-mailed response to COHSN, TC senior media-relations advisor Marie-Anyk Côté described the problem as “a surge in the left engine,” while noting that the aircraft’s return to Pearson had been merely a precautionary measure.


“Although such occurrences are rare, air carriers have procedures in place to manage emergency situations such as an engine surge,” wrote Côté.

“Pilots operating these flights regularly train for these types of occurrences using flight simulators. At no time were the passengers or flight crew at risk.”

No one was injured in the incident, but media reports have stated that witnesses both on and off the plane saw fire coming out of the Boeing’s left engine and heard loud bangs while the plane was in the air. One of the passengers told the Globe and Mail on July 31 that numerous fire trucks had been waiting for the plane when it arrived back at Pearson; the firefighters inspected the plane for about 20 minutes before it proceeded to the gate.

Flight 476 had reportedly been scheduled to proceed to Heathrow Airport in London, England after the Ottawa landing, before the incident. Passengers were reportedly shifted to a different plane afterwards.


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