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CASB Majority Report

Aerodrome Information

Figure 1.3. Gander International Airport Diagram

Gander International Airport is a publicly licensed airport owned and operated by Transport Canada. It is located adjacent to the town of Gander, Newfoundland. The airport reference elevation is 496 feet asl.

Runway 22 is 10,500 feet long by 200 feet wide and asphalt surfaced. The runway incorporates a 300-foot displaced threshold leaving a take-off run available (TORA) and accelerate-stop distance available (ASDA) of 10,200 feet. The take-off distance available (TODA) is 11,200 feet (including a 1,000-foot clearway), and the threshold elevation is 452 feet asl. The threshold elevation of runway 04 is 425 feet asl, which results in an average runway downslope of 0.25 per cent. (See Figure 1.3.)

MF1285R taxied for departure via runway 13/31 and turned right onto runway 22. From the point where the take-off was commenced, about 300 feet of the available take-off distance was behind the aircraft, thus the take-off run available for departure was approximately 9,900 feet.

In order to use all 10,200 of the runway, it would have been necessary for the aircraft to backtrack a short distance to the north of runway 13/31. On the morning of the accident, the portion of runway 22 north of runway 13/31 had not been cleared of snow.

Beyond the departure end of runway 22, the terrain slopes down quickly to Gander Lake, located about one mile from the end of the runway. The Trans-Canada Highway crosses the extended runway centre line at a right angle about 900 feet beyond the end of the runway.Where the two intersect, the highway is 38 feet below the elevation of the departure end of the runway.

For several hours prior to the departure of MF1285R, light to very light precipitation in the form of snow, snow grains, and freezing drizzle had been falling. As a result, airport maintenance crews had been, and were continuing to plough, sweep, and apply urea to the runways. A runway condition report was issued at 081 )Z. The reported condition for runway 22 was 40 per cent bare and wet, 60 per cent rough ice, with the centre 100 feet of the runway urea treated. On arrival, the pilot of MF1285R reported to air traffic control (ATC) that the landing braking action on runway 04 was good.

The pilot of a Boeing 737 aircraft which departed Gander about 30 minutes before the accident reported after the accident that runway 22 was wet with possibly some ice and slush. He experienced no difficulties of any kind during taxi and take-off.

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