GANDER, N.L. – Investigators were headed to central Newfoundland to look into the crash-landing of a small plane that suffered significant damage when it touched down at the Gander airport in a powerful late-season storm Wednesday.
A spokesman with the Transportation Safety Board said three investigators were en route to the small town to begin examining the Beechcraft 1900 that had 14 passengers and two crew members on board.
Chris Krepski said the team will also look at flight data recorders, weather conditions and information from air traffic controllers who were working when the Air Canada Express flight landed at about 9:30 p.m. local time.
Three passengers suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital, but all three have been released.
Brian Hicks, director of safety at the airport, said there was a storm at the time but the crew decided to try to land the plane, which is operated by Exploits Valley Air Services.
“It was a stormy night here in Gander, no doubt, and the TSB will determine if that was a factor in this accident or not,” he said Thursday. “That was the last night flight of the night…We had cancellations throughout the day because of the weather situation.”
He said the landing gear on the plane was damaged, but didn’t have more details about the extent of the damage. Photos on media sites appeared to show the nose sheared off.
Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur would only say initial reports indicate the landing gear on the plane sustained damage upon touching down.
Hicks said passengers waited for about 20 minutes for transportation back to the terminal.
The plane was flying from Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador to Gander, which was being buffeted by strong winds and snowfall of about 40 centimetres.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Roger Flynn, whose members responded to the scene, said it appeared there was significant damage to the undercarriage of the plane.