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Ste. Therese De Blainville, QB Airliner Crashes, Nov 1963

Shattered Airliner Quebec CAN plane crash site 11-29-1963.jpg



Ste. Therese De Blainville, Que. (CP) -- Scores of mud-caked police and others worked tirelessly amid death and destruction as a rainy, grey dawn broke Saturday over the Laurentian countryside where a Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-8F jet dived into the ground and carried 118 persons to a fiery death.
Hastily erected lights disclosed an eerie scene, pieces of human bodies, half-buried personal belongings and shattered bits of what had been a sleek airliner.
There were no survivors of TCA's ill-fated flight No. 831, which took off from Montreal's Dorval airport for Toronto at 6:28 p.m. Friday and four minutes later plowed into a virtual quagmire near this town 20 miles north of Montreal.
The dead numbered 111 passengers and seven crew members.
There were 70 from the Toronto area, five from Western Canada, one from New Brunswick, one from Brooklyn, N.Y., one believed from Port Washington, N.Y., and one whose next of kin address was listed as Bombay, India.
The crash was the worst in Canadian aviation history and the second worst single-plane disaster in civilian world flying.
Pieces of bodies were gathered up and placed in rubber sheets and blankets to await transportation to a morgue set up in a barracks builring at nearby Camp Bouchard.
In the glare of the floodlights, arms, legs and torsos could be seen in trees through which the giant liner tore to the ground. A human hand, a ring on a finger, could be seen a few yards from the plane wreckage, sticking out of the mud.
But, as dawn came, there was little that could be recognized as a plane -- only shattered pieces and twisted metal. One appeared to be the nose of the plane.
In its death dive the plane dug a huge crater in the soggy ground. From the top of the crater part of a uniformed body could be seen in one section of the half buried piece of wreckage.
Investigators were under way but there was no immediate indication of what caused the sudden crash.
At dawn Rev. ARTHUR GAREAU, Roman Catholic Chaplain of the Montreal General Hospital, stood beside the crater and said last rites. A single tongue of fire still rose from the wreckage.
A guard of about 500 RCMP officers stood around the crater.
Workmen dug a ditch about the perimeter of the crater to allow surface water to drain off, pending installation of a pump to remove water from the crater itself.
Swarms of spectators, drawn to the town by news of the crash, thinned out during the night.



Lorna flight 831

I knew your aunt and your mother.
The last time I saw you was at your grandmother's place on Harcourt rd.
I don't know how much help I can be.
Please email me or call 250 882 4550

Hiram Cairns

Crash 831

my daughter and I were two of the eight people who missed this flight.
The recent flight disaster. In the Alps brought back memories 50 years ago

My adopted father, Michael,

My adopted father, Michael, was on board this flight. He adopted me in the fall of 1959, so we had a four year relationship. I was devastated to learn that he had died. I miss him immensely. I am working on a personal manuscript that has many pages that speaks to his character. I love you and still miss you dad.

Harry Dyck

I was a neighbour of Harry and Charlotte Dyck when they lived on Edna Ave. in Toronto. My brother, Paul found their son, Harold, requesting a picture of his Dad. Did you send it to him? I know this is now 2014, but I thought I would give it a try. His email is

Sandy (nee Cate) Chambers

This was my fathers regular

This was my fathers regular flight home but missed it because he had met up with an old friend who invited him to a party. Ironically this party is where he met my mother. It's amazing how one decision changes the course of the future. Had he had been on the flight I would not be telling you this story.......

My heart goes out to the families who lose a loved one......this flight touches close to home.....

I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers...:)

Looks like the same kind of problem Eastern Airlines 304 had!

While they never really concluded in the direct cause of the accident. On 25 February 1964, a similar DC-8 leaving the(Moisan)New Orleans Airport Easern Airlines 304 only flew for couples of minutes and plunge into the Lake Pontchartrain killing all of its passengers.

According to the final CAB report File No. 1 -0006.It was question of the Plane's unstability due to the trim or compensator that was in default. The Pilots could not correct the plane nose angle (AND) and utimately fought to regain the plane until the water contact.

In the case of The Trans Canada Airline (Plane was leaving east and had to turn north towards the Laurentians and then a west turn to Toronto.),the same thing happen, many observers including the tower saw the gain up of altitude the plane did in it's first minutes and suddenly while in its phase of turning north-west over Ste-Therese de Blainville plunge in a very accuentuated angle (more than 20 degrees).

The lenght of the airborne airplane was about the same as Eastern Airline 304 over Lake Pontchartrain(about 8-10 minutes). Since they were still on their ascending phase of trip.

They must have been around between 12000-15000 feet trying to climb at their cruising altitude towards Toronto.

The Canadian TSB-BST should re open that case and try to give another look at the reasons why that plane went down.

50th Anniversary

I lost my father - Michael - on the flight - like some of the other stories here - but in reverse - he was due on an earlier flight but due to weather and traffic , he ended up on this fateful flight. RIP to all on TCA831.

My father isn't listed

My father isn't listed either. Philip Reid Austin of Don Mills. Off to Montreal tomorrow for the families to finally get together and commemorate the 50th anniversary.

D W Pollock was my uncle, he

D W Pollock was my uncle, he was 18 years old & was born in Scotland. He was travelling from Montreal back to Toronto with his boss. He wasn't supposed to be on this flight but they managed to get seats at the last minute trying to get home earlier.

My grandfather is on that

My grandfather is on that list but unfortunately you spelt his name wrong. Is there any way to fix it? His name was C. R. Elford. Right now it says Eldord and it disturbs me a bit. Thanks.

article | by Dr. Radut