Air Canada Flight 797 was a scheduled trans-border flight that flew on a Dallas/Fort WorthTorontoMontreal route. On June 2, 1983(1983-06-02), the aircraft developed an in-flight fire behind the washroom that spread between the outer skin and the inner decor panels, filling the plane with noxious, toxic smoke. The spreading fire also burned through crucial electrical cables that knocked out most of the instrumentation in the cockpit, forcing the plane to divert to an alternate landing field. Ninety seconds after the plane landed and the doors were opened, enough oxygen was available for the fire to flashover, killing the 23 remaining passengers left on board.

The disaster was a landmark moment in airline safety; many regulations were implemented around the world to make airplanes safer, including the installation of smoke detectors and emergency lighting leading to exit doors, as well as at least minimal fighting of fires in-flight if necessary.

Incident summary
Date June 2, 1983(1983-06-02)
Type In-flight fire
Site Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Int’l Airport
Boone County, Kentucky, United States
Passengers 41
Crew 5
Injuries 16 (passengers only, all 5 crew members were uninjured)
Fatalities 23
Survivors 23 (including 5 crew)
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas DC-9
Operator Air Canada
Tail number C-FTLU
Flight origin Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Stopover Toronto International Airport
Destination Montreal-Dorval International Airport

 

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