Air Canada Rouge Airbus A321 MAYDAY Due To “Multiple Successive Fault Messages”
Various systems failed during the A321 flight from Cozumel to Toronto prompting a MAYDAY and diversion.
An Airbus A321-200 operated by Air Canada Rouge was flying from Cozumel (Mexico) to its home base at Toronto Pearson International Airport on January 23rd when issues arose with various flight systems. The issues were so severe that the crew was forced to declare MAYDAY and divert to Tampa, Florida in the United States.
Flight and incident details
According to The Aviation Herald, the Air Canada Rouge Airbus A321-200 registered C-GHQI was performing flight RV1997 from Cozumel to Toronto on January 23rd when the incident occurred.
Cruising at FL370, across the Gulf of Mexico and some 250nm north of Cozumel, the flight crew began to receive “multiple successive fault messages” on the aircraft’s ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor). The ECAM is used to monitor and display engine and aircraft system information to the pilots.
Messages alerted the crew of issues with the aircraft’s ELAC (Elevator and Aileron Computer), stabilizer, autopilot and yellow hydraulic system. As result of these issues, the aircraft’s fly-by-wire system reverted from Normal Law to ALTN LAW (Alternate Law). As pilot Mohamed Anas Maaz explains, “when met with certain failure conditions, the aircraft control laws degrade to alternate law. In alternate law, most of the envelope protections are lost except for the load factor protection.”
The flight crew then declared MAYDAY and diverted Tampa International Airport. During the flight’s approach towards this diversion airport, the aircraft’s fly-by-wire further downgraded to Direct Law – a setting where all the protections (over/under speed protection, pitch/bank angle limits, etc) are lost, and the pilot is required to trim the aircraft manually. Despite the changes the aircraft’s systems and controls, the pilots landed the aircraft safely on Tampa’s runway 01L, approximately 50 minutes after issues surfaced.
Aircraft details and current situation
According to Planespotters.net, the Airbus A321-200 registered C-GHQI was delivered to Air Canada in January 2019 as a second-hand airframe. With an age of eight and a half years at the time of this article’s publication, the aircraft began its service life as VQ-BMI (MSN 6232) flying for Russia’s UTAir from 2014 to 2015. Then, from 2015 to 2019, this aircraft operated with the now-defunct Icelandic budget airline WOW Air – registered as TF-DAD.
As of November 2022, ch-aviation.com data lists the aircraft as having flown 20,142 hours across 5,652 cycles and is configured with a two-class cabin: 12 seats in its “Premium Rouge” class and another 184 in economy class.
Photo: QAlexx via Wikimedia Commons72
At the time of this article’s publication, it appears that this aircraft is still in Tampa (over four days since the incident). While FlightRadar24.com data lists the A321 as being scheduled to operate Air Canada flight AC1664 from Toronto to Fort Myers on January 28th at 12:00, this data may be outdated as there is still no record of the aircraft returning (or being scheduled to return) to Toronto from Tampa.
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Sources: FlightRadar24.com, The Aviation Herald, Planespotters.net
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Calgary International Airport, Montréal–Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Michael Rousseau
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