Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jet crash relating Tim Hortons co-founder reveals pilot problems

HALIFAX, N.S. — mainly Canadian pilots are unaware of the limitations of sure guidance systems that help them land their aircraft, the Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday in a statement that examined the 2007 crash of a business jet in northern Nova Scotia.

The jet, carrying Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce and seven other travelers, was en route from Hamilton to Joyce's private airstrip at Fox Harb'r Resort when it started its final move toward in a gusty crosswind.

The plane landed two metres short of the airstrip and the right landing gear plowed into a flower bed at 189 kilometres per hour and collapsed when it hit the edge of the roadway.

The jet's right wing slammed into the tarmac and the aircraft skidded on its belly for 300 metres, veering off airstrip 33 and bouncing over a number of earthen mounds before grinding to a halt close to a row of comfort condos.

Joyce suffered two fractured spine. The aircraft's first officer also injured his back. The captain and the other passengers sustained slight injuries.

The two pilots had limited experience flying the 14-passenger jet and were ignorant that the visual, ground-based guidance system they were using wasn't appropriate for the aircraft, the report said.

This is a ordinary mistake made by pilots, the report said.

"Although most pilots are conscious that different ... systems are in use, they are not aware of what the limitations of those (systems) are," the statement said.

"Many flight crews do not know which visual landing system is proper for their aircraft."

The system, known as a slither slope indicator, uses red and white signal lights to show imminent pilots when they are too high or too low when coming in for a landing.

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