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Early report suggests plane in deadly Nunavut crash landed hard, overran runway

SANIKILUAQ, Nunavut – An initial report into the deadly crash of a passenger plane in Nunavut suggests the aircraft landed hard and ended up shooting past the end of the runway by as much as 200 metres.

The crash happened at the airport in Sanikiluaq last Saturday evening. Six-month-old Isaac Appaqaq was killed. The two pilots and six other passengers were all injured, but survived.

The Transport Canada occurrence report from the crash says the plane, a Fairchild twin-engine turbo prop en route from Winnipeg, was on its second approach that night.

“The aircraft touched down hard and a runway overrun ensued,” reads the report, posted online. “The aircraft came to a stop approximately 150 to 200 metres past the end of the intended runway surface.”

The report notes that the information is preliminary and subject to change as the investigation continues.

The Transportation Safety Board has said there was some blowing snow at the time of the crash, but hasn’t said whether it played a role. The Transport Canada report doesn’t mention anything about the weather conditions.

Nunavut’s coroner, Padma Suramala, has told media in the North that the child suffered head injuries when he was thrown from his mother’s lap on impact.

Airlines recommend children be held on the shoulder rather than on the lap during landings, but Suramala said she didn’t think that would have made any difference in this crash.

Sanikiluaq is a community of 800 located on the Belcher Islands in the southeastern corner of Hudson Bay. As in all Nunavut communities, flying is the only way in and out.

The flight was chartered for Keewatin Air, which schedules three trips a week between Winnipeg and Sanikiluaq. The aircraft belonged to Winnipeg-based Perimeter Aviation.

Some of the passengers on board were in Winnipeg for medical appointments and were on their way home.