Aviation Investigation A17O0025

Runway excursion

The occurrence

On February 25, 2017, Air Canada Flight 623 was travelling from Halifax to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson airport with 118 persons on board. Towards the end of the flight, the aircraft was flying an ILS approach to Runway 15R. Just after midnight, during the landing sequence, the aircraft travelled through the grass on the western side of the runway, eventually coming to a stop on the runway centerline. The passengers were deplaned on the runway and transported by bus to the terminal. There were no reported injuries, and apparent damage to the aircraft at this point is minor. The aircraft will be thoroughly examined to further determine the extent of the damage. Five runway edge lights were also damaged.

Map of the area

What we know

TSB investigators were deployed in the early morning to Pearson Airport to examine the aircraft and gather information. To date, we have:

  • Taken possession of the CVR and FDR. These will be sent to the TSB Lab in Ottawa for further analysis.
  • Gathered airborne radar, ground radar and audio data from Air Traffic Control.
  • Gathered the initial weather information.
  • Examined and took measurements of the occurrence site.
  • Conducted preliminary examination of the aircraft.

Next steps

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:

  • Interviewing the flight crew, air traffic control and other witnesses.
  • Gathering all information surrounding this flight, such as: weather, the approach, navigation systems, communications, the crew, training, the organization.
  • Analyzing data from FDR/CVR.
  • TSB investigators have to examine all the information before drawing any conclusions. It is too early to say what the causes and contributing factors of this occurrence might be.

Communication of safety deficiencies

Should the investigation team uncover safety deficiencies that present an immediate risk, they will be communicated without delay so they may be addressed quickly and the aviation system made safer.

The information posted is factual in nature and does not contain any analysis. Analysis of the accident and the Findings of the Board will be part of the final report. The investigation is ongoing.


Photo of Fred Burow

Ewan Tasker has over 20 years of civil aviation experience. He joined the TSB in 2008, and is now a regional senior investigator based out of Richmond Hill, Ontario. Since joining the TSB, he has been the investigator-in-charge of more than 250 occurrences, including 11 major investigations.

Before joining the TSB, Mr. Tasker flew commercially throughout North and South America, accrued over 7000 hours of flight time, and obtained airline transport pilot licences from 3 different regulatory bodies. During his “from-the-ground-up” career, he has worked every position, from baggage handler to chief pilot. Mr. Tasker is also a Transport Canada–licensed air traffic controller.

Transportation Safety Board investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation:

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.


News release

Runway excursion involving an Air Canada Airbus A320 at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ontario
Read the news release

Media advisory

TSB to hold a press briefing following a landing incident at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ontario
Read the media advisory

Deployment notices

TSB deploys a team of investigators to a landing incident at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ontario a
Read the deployment notice