Source AP ©

Air France plane crashes at Toronto's international airport two years ago for pilot's mistake

An Air France plane crashed and burst into flames at Toronto's international airport two years ago because it came in too high and too fast.

Air France flight 358 from Paris skidded off the runway at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport on Aug. 2, 2005. None of the 297 passengers and 12 crew members on board were seriously injured. The jet was engulfed in flames about a minute after everyone escaped.

Investigators have said the aircraft landed too far down the runway, and their final crash report released Wednesday reiterated those findings.

Many of the passengers have blamed the pilots for landing halfway down the runway in dreadful weather and are suing the airline for negligence.

"There can be no doubt that the story of Air France flight 358 is a story of survival, a story of the survival of all 309 people on board. Even so I'm certain all on board that day will tell you that no one should have to go through what they went through," Transportation Safety Board Chair Wendy Tadros said.

"With shifting winds and limited visibility it came in too high and too fast, touching down almost halfway along the wet and slippery runway. It simply ran out of room."

The plane landed 3,800 feet (1,158 meters) down the 9,000-foot (2,743-meter) runway at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

The board made seven recommendations to increase landing safety, noting that since that accident, 10 large aircraft have gone off runways around the world in bad weather.

Key recommendations include a requirement that crews always estimate the distance needed for landing during severe weather, an increase in runway safe areas at the end of runways, and directions to passengers to leave all carry-on baggage behind during evacuation.

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