Air Canada Flight 189

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Air Canada Flight 189
CF-TLV DC-9-32 Air Canada YXE 21MAY69 (5589984348).jpg
The aircraft involved in the crash in 1969
Accident summary
Date June 26, 1978
Summary Mechanical failure, pilot error
Site Toronto, Ontario, Canada
43°39′35″N 79°37′32″W / 43.65972°N 79.62556°W / 43.65972; -79.62556Coordinates: 43°39′35″N 79°37′32″W / 43.65972°N 79.62556°W / 43.65972; -79.62556
Passengers 102
Crew 5
Fatalities 2
Injuries (non-fatal) 105[1]
Survivors 105
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
Operator Air Canada
Registration CF-TLV
Flight origin Toronto International Airport
Destination Winnipeg International Airport

Air Canada Flight 189 was an Air Canada flight from Ottawa to Vancouver via Toronto and Winnipeg. On June 26, 1978 it crashed on takeoff in Toronto killing two passengers.

During takeoff at 8:15 a.m. one of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32's tires burst and partially disintegrated, firing chunks of rubber into the landing gear mechanism.[1] This set off an "unsafe gear" warning, prompting the pilot to abort the takeoff.[2] The aircraft, however, was already two thirds along the length of runway 23L and travelling at 154 knots (285 km/h).[3] It could not stop before the end of the runway, and plunged off the edge of an embankment still travelling at 60 knots (110 km/h), eventually coming to a rest in the Etobicoke Creek ravine.[4] The plane broke in three pieces, but despite its full load of fuel did not catch fire.[3] The accident was visible from Highway 401, which runs alongside the south side of the airport.

The plane was destroyed and two passengers were killed: 73-year-old J. Frank Scrase of Victoria died when a rib punctured his heart, and 45-year-old Irwin Theodore Childs of North York died of suffocation when he was wedged beneath the seat in front of him.[4] Both were seated at the site of the forward split in the fuselage. All of the other 105 passengers and crew aboard were injured.

The subsequent investigation found multiple causes of the accident. It recommended greater scrutiny be given to the tires.[2] The pilot, Reginald W. Stewart, delayed four seconds after the warning light came on before he chose to abort the takeoff; a more immediate decision would have prevented the accident.[3] The investigators also criticized the level of training in emergency braking.[3] The presence of the ravine at the end of the runway was also questioned, but nothing was done.[4] This failure to expand the airport's overshoot zone was raised when Air France Flight 358 plunged into the same ravine 27 years later.[5]

Although it is customary for airlines to retire a flight number after a major incident,[citation needed] Air Canada continues to use Flight 189 for its Ottawa-Vancouver route and it uses a Airbus A320[6] aircraft instead of a DC-9. However, the flight no longer has stopovers in Toronto and Winnipeg. [7]


  1. ^ a b Palango, Paul (June 26, 1978). "2 killed, 105 hurt in DC-9 crash". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. 1. 
  2. ^ a b Canadian Press (March 28, 1979). "Jet's crash traced to 4-second delay in use of full brakes". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. pp. 1–2. 
  3. ^ a b c d Graham, Bob (March 28, 1979). "4-second delay cost two lives report finds". The Toronto Star. Toronto. pp. A1–A2. 
  4. ^ a b c Furness, Richard (October 7, 1978). "Extend runway over creek, air crash jury urges". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. pp. 1–2. 
  5. ^ Priest, Lisa (August 3, 2005). "Takeoffs and landings always pose risk of calamity, as history shows". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. A11. 
  6. ^ "FlightAware: Air Canada Flight 189". FlightAware. FlightAware. March 28, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  7. ^

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