An Air Canada plane had a collision with a fuel tanker in the early hours of Friday May 10th. The plane was operated by Jazz Aviation on behalf of Air Canada Express. This incident took place at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport as the aircraft made its way to Terminal 1. Five passengers had injuries from the incident which took place around 1:36am local time.
The aircraft involved was a DHC-8-300 and was originally going to Sudbury. After take-off, the aircraft made a return to Toronto Pearson. This was due to foggy conditions at the destination airport. Flight AC8615 with 50 passengers aboard was taxiing to a gate when the fuel tanker struck the plane.
At 1:36a.m. an Air Canada Jazz aircraft came into contact with a Menzies fuel truck while taxiing on the apron. Airport emergency services responded. Passengers and crew evacuated safely to T1. The aircraft and vehicle were removed & no operational impact at the airport.
— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) May 10, 2019
CBC Toronto spoke with Police Sgt. Bancroft Wright who said the the driver is facing charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle. “The plane was pretty much written off,” he added. Unfortunately, no further information was available regarding the driver.
A passenger who also spoke with CBC said:
“It stopped pretty quickly, but then we started to smell aviation fuel and that’s when panic started.“
According to police, the plane’s two pilots, a flight attendant and two passengers had injuries. CTV News reports that the Canadian Transportation Safety Board has sent a team of investigators to Pearson to investigate the incident.
Air Canada Express is a brand name in use by four regional airlines, and is a sub-brand of Air Canada. Jazz Aviation is the largest of these partners. The primary role of these partner airlines is to connect smaller cities with Air Canada’s domestic hubs.
Jazz Aviation has a fleet of 111 narrowbody regional aircraft. Bombardier Q400s and CRJ900s make up the majority of the company’s planes. Chorus Aviation is the parent company of Jazz Aviation.
The aircraft involved was a DHC-8-300. It is a turboprop-powered regional plane and was first introduced by de Havilland Canada (DHC) in 1984. However, in 1988 Boeing purchased DHC but then sold it to Bombardier in 1992. In fact, later this year Bombardier will sell the program to Longview Aviation Capital.
The Series 300 has a longer fuselage than the Series 100/200 models. Powering the plane are two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123 engines.
Operating the fuel tanker truck was Menzies Aviation – a UK company that performs landside and airside services including ground handling, cargo, and fuelling. In fact, Menzies operates at over 200 airport locations across six continents.
Toronto Pearson International is Canada’s busiest airport handling almost 50 million passengers per year. The airport has routes to over 180 destinations and is one of three main hubs for Air Canada, the other two being Vancouver and Montreal.