Accident de Havilland Canada DHC-8-301 C-GUON, Monday 10 September 2012
ASN logo

Date:Monday 10 September 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8C model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-301
Owner/operator:Air Canada Express, opb Jazz Aviation
Registration: C-GUON
MSN: 143
Year of manufacture:1989
Total airframe hrs:50880 hours
Cycles:58725 flights
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 35
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Gaspé Airport, QC (YGP) -   Canada
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Îles de la Madeleine Airport, QC (YGR/CYGR)
Destination airport:Gaspé Airport, QC (YGP/CYGP)
Investigating agency: TSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Air Canada Express Flight 8721, a DHC-8-301 operated by Jazz Aviation, was destined for Gaspé Airport (YGP), Quebec, from Îles de la Madeleine Airport (YGR), Quebec. It was the first of 4 flights planned on that day for the crew. At 14:27 local time the aircraft left took off with 32 passengers and 3 crew members. The co-pilot was the pilot flying (PF), and the pilot-in-command was the pilot monitoring (PM).
Cruising at 14 000 feet above sea level (asl), the crew received clearance from air traffic control to perform a contact approach on runway 29 at Gaspé. At 14:03 local time the PF began the descent and headed directly toward the OVUBI final approach fix, located 5.5 nautical miles (nm) from the threshold of runway 29.
At 14:10, the aircraft intercepted the final approach 5 nm from the runway, at a height above touchdown zone elevation of about 2400 feet and a speed of 138 knots. The aircraft reached the optimum descent angle of 3° from above and continued its approach, descending gradually below the slope indicated by the precision approach path indicator (PAPI). At approximately 170 feet, when the aircraft descended below the lower limit of the PAPI range (with 4 red lights visible), the pilot flying reduced power; the rate of descent increased, and the aircraft was aiming for the runway threshold. At about 45 feet, when the aircraft was 700 feet from the runway threshold, power was reduced to idle, and speed dropped to VREF +3 in deceleration.
At 14:12, the aircraft made a hard landing, during which the lower part of the aft fuselage came into contact with the runway and the "Touched Runway" indicator came on. The first wheel marks of the right main gear appeared at 109 feet from the threshold of runway 29.
After landing, the aircraft backtracked normally on the runway, taxied, and parked in front of the air terminal.
An examination of the aircraft revealed traces of the impact and scuff marks on the skin, structural stiffeners and longerons of the lower portion of the fuselage.
Depressions and deformations of the skin were observed on the lateral surfaces of the fuselage under the wings and under the tail unit.

Findings as to causes and contributing factors:
1. The application of a pronounced nose-up control to reduce the rate of descent resulted in a nose-high attitude. This attitude, combined with a hard landing that compressed the oleos, resulted in the aft part of the fuselage striking the runway, causing significant damage to the aircraft structure.
2. The pilot monitoring was focusing attention outside and did not identify the loss of energy in time to notify the pilot flying or to intervene and thereby prevent the hard landing.
3. The aircraft crossed the runway threshold with insufficient energy to stop the rate of descent with only an increase in the nose-up attitude at the time of the flare.
4. The crew had not received training on the technique recommended by the manufacturer in the event of a higher than normal rate of descent near the ground. As a result, the pilot flying did not limit the nose-up attitude or increase power to reduce the rate of descent, and the aircraft fuselage struck the runway.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TSB
Report number: A12Q0161
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Download report: Final report




photo (c) TSB; Gaspé Airport, QC (YGP); September 2012

photo (c) TSB; Gaspé Airport, QC (YGP); September 2012

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314