The short-distance Air Canada flight 8481 to Grande Prairie from Calgary was forced to crash-land after a tire burst during take-off on Thursday night. Emergency crews immediately responded to aid and assist the dazed 71 passengers. But there was more than meets the eye. When the Jazz Aviation craft hit the ground, its’ landing gear collapsed on the right side. When this happened, it sent one of its five propellers hurling through the wall of the plane.
Seated in row seven beside the window was Kurylo. In an interview with CTV Edmonton, she said she heard a loud crash coming through her window and then felt a massive blow to her head. She didn’t know what it was, but it was already already the propeller that ripped open the aircraft.
She said the impact of the blow to her head sent her glasses flying off her face. The incident also bruised her, not to mention left covered in fiberglass. She passed out after seeing stars.
She said she can no longer recall the exact events that happened. But she did recall a certain Mike, an employee for Encana Corp., helped her get out of the plane.
The propeller incident erupted only now in the media had it not been for Melissa Menard, Kurylo’s friend who happened to be also a passenger of the same ill-fated flight. Kurylo and Menard were a part of a group of employees from the Rock 97.7 radio station in Grande Prairie. Menard was seated in row 15, on the left side.
Menard said they heard a big bang as the plane took off. The captain shortly announced a tire had blown and that they would try to land in Edmonton. As they approached Edmonton, emergency vehicles and firetrucks were already positioned near the runway. Menard said the landing initially seemed normal, but then the plane suddenly started rattling as it went down the runway. Passengers weren’t advised to brace into a crash position, she recalled. Then the plane’s right landing gear collapsed, eventually making the plane tilt to the right. The feeling was something like being in a car about to roll over, Menard said.
Kurylo is just thankful she is still alive and that she received only a “couple (of) bumps on my head.” The Transport Safety Board of Canada is now investigating the incident. “It was truly a Wild experience and I feel so blessed that I am OK. God was on my side and I really believe that”.