‘Miscommunication’ over runway snow plough led to crash landing in Canada

TSB Canada

Miscommunication regarding when the runway snow would be plowed caused an aircraft to crash land in 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow at Wawa Municipal Airport in Ontario, Canada.

That’s the official findings based on a report by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, released on March 7, 2024.

The accident occurred on November 27, 2024, when a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 aircraft (registration C-GYUA, serial number 1553), operated by Thunder Airlines, was flying from Thunder Bay Airport (CYQT), Ontario, to Sault Ste. Marie Airport (CYAM), Ontario. 

Operating as flight THU890, it included a stop at Wawa Aerodrome (CYXZ), Ontario, to pick up a patient for a medical transfer to CYAM airport.

The report said that as part of its pre-flight preparations, the flight crew contacted CYXZ Airport to check the runway conditions. During the communication, the flight crew learned that there was ongoing snowfall at the airport, but understood that the runway would be plowed by 07:30 local time.

According to the report, it had snowed overnight and crew at CYXZ Airport were aware of the arrival of THU890 but had not yet plowed the runway. 

As the aircraft approached CYXZ Airport, the flight crew saw that the runway was covered in snow, but were not aware that it was about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) deep.

The report said that when the aircraft touched Runway 03 at 07:39 local time, it began sliding to the right. 

“The flight crew attempted to correct this using rudder pedals, as well as differential propeller and power control, but were unsuccessful. The aircraft rotated almost 180° before sliding off the runway’s right side,” the report said.

The Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 aircraft continued sliding sideways off the runway while facing the opposite direction of landing. Eventually, they came to rest on its left side in a drainage ditch, about 78 feet from the runway’s edge. 

The report said that the aircraft was extensively damaged; the right engine propeller blades penetrated the cabin before the engines were shut down.

The three occupants of the aircraft–two pilots and a paramedic, managed to evacuate using the aircraft’s main door. They were all assessed by emergency medical services and then transported to the local hospital for examination of minor injuries.

“The investigation determined that there was a miscommunication between the flight crew and the aerodrome staff with respect to when the runway would be plowed. The flight crew believed that the runway would be plowed before their arrival, but the aerodrome staff only planned to have the runway plowed by 0900,” the report said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Stay updated on aviation and aerospace - subscribe to our newsletter!