A video published recently on YouTube documents a scary situation where a mayday call went out for an Air Canada flight departing Toronto’s Pearson airport and headed for Montreal.

The outbound May 18 flight was forced to issue a distress call shortly after takeoff.

The YouTube channel “You can see ATC” published the mayday call to the control tower in the midst of a mysterious electrical odour detected aboard the aircraft.

Flight AC490 departed Pearson just before 6 p.m. on May 18 with 297 passengers aboard the Airbus A330-300 aircraft headed for Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

During the flight’s ascent to cruising altitude, the control tower instructed pilots to “maintain a speed of 270 knots,” but did not receive a response. Following a brief silence, the air traffic controller attempted to get the pilot’s attention by saying, “Air Canada 490, departure.”

When the crew finally responds to the tower, they say, “Stand by, we have an issue.” Soon after, the pilot levels off at 11,000 feet heading eastbound over Lake Ontario and is asked if they would like to proceed to Montreal or return to Toronto.

The response? “Air Canada 490, declaring a MAYDAY-MAYDAY, electrical smell in the cabin, returning to Toronto.”

The passenger count and fuel load is announced and the pilot receives clearance from the tower to land.

The aircraft safely landed, though arrival crews told the pilots that rescue and firefighting equipment was available.


One passenger on the flight tweeted that the flight crew was calm and professional throughout the ordeal.

Passengers eventually got back in the air on a rescheduled flight that took off at 12:21 a.m. on May 19 and Flight AC490 reached Montreal at 1:35 a.m. — about seven hours later than its scheduled arrival.

2023-05-25T20:48:22Z dg43tfdfdgfd