Thursday, 29th of March, 1979

– Canada

Quebecair Flight 255, a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Quebec Airport, to Montreal-Dorval International Airport, Quebec, Canada, operated with a Fairchild F-27, registration C-FQBL, impacted a hillside a few minutes after takeoff following an engine explosion about 1,3 km (0.8 mls) from Quebec Airport (YQB/CYQB), Canada.

The aircraft was destroyed. The three crew members and fourteen passengers from the twenty one on board were killed. The remaining seven passengers survived with serious injures, but one of them was uninjured. (17 fatalities, 7 survivors)

The crash of Flight 255 is the 24th deadliest aviation accident on Canadian soil. It is also the tenth deadliest accident involving the Fairchild F-27.

– Details:

A Fairchild F-27, operated by Quebecair, was destroyed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Quebec Airport, QC (YQB), Canada. There were 3 crew and 21 passengers aboard. 3 crew and 14 passengers suffered fatal injuries. 6 passengers suffered serious injuries. 1 passenger escaped with minor or no injuries.

Quebecair Flight 255 departed Quebec Airport on a domestic flight to Montreal-Dorval International Airport, QC (YUL). Shortly after lift-off the low pressure impeller from the no. 2 engine burst, causing the forward part of the no. 2 engine to separate. The gear couldn’t be raised because of engine debris damage to the electronic gear selection circuitry. This, including the exposed engine and lower cowl, increased the drag. In this configuration the aircraft wasn’t capable of out-climbing obstacles straight ahead nor capable of maintaining altitude during the right hand turn. Engine separation and passenger movement resulted in the center of gravity shifting beyond its aft limit. The airspeed then decreased until the aircraft struck the ground at or below the minimum control speed (Vmc).

– Cause:

“It was determined that during initial climb, the low pressure impeller from the right (n°2) engine burst, causing the forward part of the engine to separate. The gear couldn’t be raised because of engine debris damage to the electronic gear selection circuitry. This, including the exposed engine and lower cowl, increased the drag. In this configuration the aircraft wasn’t capable of out-climbing obstacles straight ahead nor capable of maintaining altitude during the right hand turn. Engine separation and passenger movement resulted in the center of gravity shifting beyond its aft limit. The airspeed then decreased until the aircraft struck the ground at or below the minimum control speed (Vmc). Investigations revealed that the low pressure impeller burst due to the presence of fatigue cracks that had not been detected by the technicians in charge of the aircraft’s maintenance.”