Today In Aviation History – March 10, 1989 – Crash of Air Ontario Flight 1363

aviation history

March 10, 1989.  Air Ontario Flight 1363 was a scheduled passenger flight operated by  a Fokker F28-1000 Fellowship which crashed near Dryden, Ontario  shortly after takeoff from Dryden Regional Airport. The aircraft crashed after only 15 seconds because it was not able to attain sufficient altitude to clear the trees beyond the end of the runway due to ice and snow on the wings. The aircraft struck trees and disintegrated on impact, causing the death of 21 of the 65 passengers and 3 of the 4 crew members on board, including both pilots.

The accident investigation was subsumed into a judicial inquiry under the Honourable Virgil P. Moshansky. His report showed that competitive pressures caused by commercial deregulation cut into safety standards and that many of the industry’s sloppy practices and questionable procedures placed the pilot in a very difficult situation. The report also stated that the aircraft should not have been scheduled to refuel at an airport which did not have proper equipment and that neither training nor manuals had sufficiently warned the pilot of the dangers of ice on the wings. Moshansky blamed Transport Canada for letting Air Ontario expand into operation of bigger, more complicated aircraft without detecting the deficiencies of their existing aircraft.

As a result of the crash of Air Ontario Flight 1363, and the resulting investigation, many significant changes were made to the Canadian Aviation Regulations. These included not only new procedures regarding re-fuelling and de-icing but also many new regulations intended to improve the general safety of all future flights in Canada.

The television show “Mayday” covered the incident in their episode “Cold Case”.

(Information from Wikipedia)