Bombardier Grounds Higher-Time Planes Until Inspections
One accident may be an anomaly... but two accidents in a matter
of days, involving the same carrier, aircraft-type AND,
apparently, the same problem, may mean something more. In the wake
of a second landing gear-related incident in three days involving a
Bombardier Q400 operated by Scandanavian Airlines, the Canadian
planemaker recommended the grounding of approximately 60 planes
until safety inspections are carried out.
The second incident occurred Wednesday, and involved a SAS Q400
landing at Vilnius, Lithuania. Flight SK2748 bound to Palanga was
diverted when the crew experienced 'technical difficulties,'
according to the airline.
Just as with an incident three days before involving another of
the carrier's turboprops -- this one landing at Aalborg, Denmark --
the aircraft's right main landing gear collapsed on landing,
according to Swedish media sources.
As ANN reported, five persons
onboard the plane in Denmark were injured while evacuating the
plane after it veered off the runway, and parts of the right
propeller separated from the hub and impacted the fuselage. There
were no reported injuries among the 52 passengers and crew onboard
Wednesday's flight, according to SAS.
Immediately after Wednesday's
accident, Bombardier and Goodrich, the landing gear
manufacturer, issued an All Operator Message (AOM) that operators
of Q400 aircraft having accumulated more than 10,000 landing gear
cycles be grounded until an inspection of the landing gear is
carried out. The AOM affects about 60 of the over 160 Q400s in
Bombardier also reports Transport
Canada (TC) has been briefed on both events
and the planemaker is working with TC to establish
the requirement for further corrective actions, if required.
"A Bombardier Air Safety representative has been dispatched to
the second incident site to provide assistance to the investigating
authorities," the manufacturer said. "Until such time as
investigations are concluded by the relevant aviation authorities,
Bombardier cannot speculate or comment as to the cause of these
The Bombardier Q400 is an updated variant of the DeHavilland
Canada DHC-8 ("Dash 8") twin-turboprop regional airliner. The
original Dash 8 -- itself a reeenginered offspring of the
four-engine DHC-7 -- entered service in 1983; the "Q" series (for
"quiet," as the aircraft now featured active noise suppression
measures) entered service in 1996.
Somewhat unusual for a passenger aircraft -- thought not unique
-- the DHC-8 and Q400 sport rearward-retracting (i.e., with the
direction of travel) maingear.