During the handover, Weir told Pearson that there was a problem with the FQIS, and Pearson decided to take on enough fuel to fly to Edmonton without refueling in Ottawa. This error meant that less than half the amount of intended fuel had been loaded. There was no training, no protocol for landing under these circumstances. A dripstick check found that there were 7,682 litres (1,690 imp gal; 2,029 US gal) of fuel already in the tanks. [28] However, bidding only reached CA$425,000 and the lot was unsold. I saw a documentary about this that included an image of the fuel manifest. On board were 61 passengers and a crew of eight. [11], At this point, Quintal proposed landing at the former RCAF Station Gimli, a closed air force base where he had once served as a pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi) the aircraft lost 5,000 feet (1,500 m), giving a glide ratio of approximately 12:1 (dedicated glider planes reach ratios of 50:1 to 70:1). When the plane finally hit ground, passengers were greeted by a loud bang similar to a shotgun blast. As the aircraft slowed on approach to landing, the reduced power generated by the ram air turbine rendered the aircraft increasingly difficult to control. This was approximately half of the amount required to reach their destination. At 1:21 p.m., over Red Lake, Ontario, the 767 ran out of fuel and both engines stopped. Since the FQIS was not operational, he entered the reading into the flight management computer (FMC), which tracked the amount of fuel remaining in kilograms. The faulty indication showed fuel levels as empty and a misunderstanding led the captain to believe that the flight was safe to fly with the gauges inoperative. The investigation did, however, commend the crew and praise them for their skill and professionalism during the event. Unable to reach Winnipeg for an emergency landing, Captain Pearson turned toward a closed airport, the former RCAF Station Gimli. It recommended the adoption of fueling procedures and other safety measures that were already being used by US and European airlines. Since the engines supply power for the hydraulic systems, the aircraft was designed with a ram air turbine, a backup generator that converts the air flowing past the airplane into electricity. C-GAUN was the 47th Boeing 767 off the production line, and had been delivered to Air Canada less than four months previously. Seconds later, as the plane was descending through 35,000 feet, the right engine failed, leaving the multi-million dollar jet basically as a large glider. This manoeuvre, performed by "crossing the controls" (applying rudder in one direction and ailerons in the other direction) is commonly used in gliders and light aircraft to descend more quickly without increasing forward speed, but it is practically never executed in large jet airliners outside of rare circumstances like those of this flight. The plane was brand new, and came with some novel glitches in its computer-based fuel-measurement system—not to mention a processor disconnected due to improper soldering. The use of the incorrect conversion factor led to a total fuel load of only 22,300 pounds (10,100 kg) rather than the 22,300 kilograms that was needed. [27], In April 2013, the Gimli Glider was offered for sale at auction, by a company called Collectable Cars,[6] with an estimated price of CA$2.75–3 million. Captain Pearson would later remark that the boys were so closed that he could see the look of sheer terror on their faces as they realised that a commercial airliner was bearing down on them. Air Canada Flight 143 was a Canadian scheduled domestic passenger flight between Montreal and Edmonton that ran out of fuel on July 23, 1983, at an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,000 m), midway through the flight. The episode featured interviews with survivors and a dramatic recreation of the flight. The 767 has what is known as the RAT (Ram Air Turbine), which is a hydraulic pump driven by a small turbine, which is driven by a propeller that rotates because of the forward motion of the aircraft in the manner of a windmill. [7] Seconds later, the right-side engine also stopped and the 767 lost all power. As copilot Maurice Quintal began to calculate their rate of descent and the distance to Winnipeg, he realized that the plane would come up some 15 miles short of the runway. It further found that the airline had failed to reallocated the task of checking fuel load (which had been the responsibility of the flight engineer on older aircraft flown with a crew of three). The next morning, Captain John Weir and co-pilot Captain Donald Johnson were told about the problem. The crowd scattered to safer ground. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. The entire ordeal lasted for 17 minutes. Making his best guess as to this speed for the 767, he flew the aircraft at 220 knots (410 km/h; 250 mph). As the gliding plane closed in on the decommissioned runway, the pilots noticed that there were two boys riding bicycles within 1,000 feet (300 m) of the projected point of impact. First Officer Quintal instead proposed landing at the former RCAF Station Gimli which was a closed air force base where he had once served as a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot. In an age where more-and-more airliners fall by the retirement wayside, a Boeing 747 sitting alongside Interstate 10 near Tucson,…, While many major airlines around the world are contemplating how many and which aircraft they must retire to stay afloat,…, As more airlines across the world introduce “flights to nowhere,” Singapore Airlines has taken a step back from that idea…, American Airlines is planning to host customer tours of its Boeing 737 MAX jets to boost customer confidence in the jet as the airline nears the date at which it is set to resume flights with the aircraft. But decided they did not have enough altitude for the manoeuvre. The problems of Air Canada flight 143 began on Friday, July 22, on the trip from Edmonton to Montreal. First Officer Maurice Quintal began to calculate whether they could reach Winnipeg. On board were 61 passengers and a crew of eight. Before departure the engineer informed the pilot of the problem and confirmed that the tanks would have to be verified with a floatstick. Pearson decided to execute a forward slip to increase drag and lose altitude. There were 11,430 litres of fuel in the tanks, and the fueler gave the density as 1.78. The investigation of the accident faulted the airline for not reassigning the responsibility for calculating the fuel load when use of a flight engineer became unnecessary with the new Boeing 767, which was designed to be flown by a two-pilot crew.

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