Air Canada Flight Upset Update


The wake of a 747 that crossed its path is a suspect in the upset event that injured eight passengers and two crew aboard an Air Canada Airbus A319 flying at 35,000 feet Thursday January 10. A fully loaded 747 can weigh more than five times as much as an Airbus A319. The A319 rolled violently and lost altitude in the incident, but a cause has not yet been determined and some have theorized that computerized flight control systems could have been causal in the disturbance if they reverted to a particular failsafe mode. A Seattle air traffic controller saw the potential conflict in flight paths, citing that conditions were ripe for the formation of mountain waves that could make dissipation of wake less predictable, and directed one of the aircraft to change altitude, according to the Globe and Mail. The aircraft were flying south of Cranbrook, B.C., which is known for generating mountain waves capable of lifting gliders to 25,000 feet.