The Transportation Safety Board has denied passengers of Air Canada Flight 624, which came skidding to a halt on a Halifax airport runway in March, from taking photos of the wreckage, lawyers say.
According to federal court documents, legal representation for the plaintiffs suing Air Canada, the airplane manufacturer and Halifax Stanfield airport won't be allowed to hire an expert to photograph what's left of the plane.
"That information is important for our experts to see, to be able to formulate their expert opinions," said lawyer Ray Wagner who's involved in one of the proposed class-action lawsuits.
On March 29, AC 624 struck the ground approximately 225 metres short of the runway, bounced back into the air and hit the ground again. It slid over 600 metres.
The 133 passengers and five crew members on board survived. The cause is still under investigation.
Passengers are seeking damages for alleged physical and psychological injuries suffered.
The Transportation Safety Board has now given Air Canada the green light to disassemble the plane's wings and tail sections from the hull for less expensive storage options.
"Subsequently, counsel for Air Canada and its insurer, Clay Hunter, informed the Applicant's counsel that the TSB had advised Mr. Hunter that it would not allow a representative of the plaintiffs in the class action to inspect or take photographs of the wreckage," the court documents say.
Photos of the wreckage, the TSB says, will become available once the final crash report is released.
"The problem is, it may be a year and a half, two years or longer before we have a final report from the transport safety board. And that is too long for us to wait to be able to move with the litigation," Wagner said.
According to the court documents, Air Canada plans to relocate the aircraft's parts by Sept. 30.