Says Manufacture, Not Maintenance, To Blame
A preliminary report on last Sunday's accident involving a
Scandinavian Airlines Bombardier Q400 says a "constructional
weakness" led to the collapse of the aircraft's right maingear on
landing at Aalborg, and not a maintenance error.
The report, by the Danish civil aviation authority (SLV), states
the maingear leg collapsed after a nut worked loose, due to rust on
the bolt threads, according to Ritzau's Bureau.
Of course, that does not necessarily point to a design flaw on
the Q400... but SLV spokesman Thorbjoern Ancker said the agency
believes the fault lies there, and not with discrepancies with
maintenance practices at SAS.
"All speculation that this was an error by SAS is now shown to
be wrong," Ancker was cited saying, according to Thompson
Financial. "It's a constructional weakness."
As ANN reported, officials at
Transport Canada called for immediate visual inspections Thursday
of all Bombardier Q400 turboprops following two landing gear
failures worldwide over the course of three days. Two days after
the Aalborg accident, another SAS Q400 suffered an identical gear
failure in Lithuania. The accidents caused both planes to depart
Investigators with SLV, as well as the Norwegian and Swedish
civil aviation authorities, were to meet Friday to decide whether
to keep the airline's Q400s grounded or let them resume normal
Meanwhile, at least one airline has determined its Q400s are
safe to fly. Australia's Qantas returned its six-plane Q400 fleet
to service Thursday, after checks revealed no apparent anomalies
with the landing gear assemblies on those planes.
While the Q400 has a reputation with some carriers of being a
somewhat temperamental airliner when it comes to maintenance, the
two SAS landing incidents are the only two known gear failures
involving the aircraft, a derivative of the storied Dash-8.
Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne would not comment to Ritzau's
Bureau on SLV's preliminary report, nor would he speculate if SAS
would receive any compensation from the company should the
investigators' final report state the accident was due to
"That will be part of the discussions between Bombardier and the
maker of the landing gear and between Bombardier and airlines," he