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More on the Q400

by Jack Penning

Posted on November 7, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:45 PM

In response to yesterday's posting on this blog, about the problems with the Q400 aircraft landing gear, Dan Russo at Horizon Air e-mailed me to let me know the European Safety Agency has concluded its review on the airworthiness of the aircraft.

Here's that agency's press release:

European Agency Review Affirms Safety Of Bombardier Q400
Nov. 7, 2007
Dow Jones Newswires

A review by the European Aviation Safety Agency has affirmed the airworthiness
of Bombardier Inc.'s Q400 turboprop after ruling that a series of recent
accidents weren't caused by design flaws.

"We are very pleased with the report," Bombardier spokesman Marc Duschesne
said. "It shows that we have a very safe aircraft. This is very positive news
for us."

The review by European air authorities was called after Scandinavian airline
SAS AB permanently grounded its fleet of 27 Bombardier-built Q400s following
three accidents in the past two months.

While no one was seriously hurt in any of the incidents, the flurry of problems
raised concerns globally about the safety of the Q400.

According to the EASA, the most recent incident on Oct. 27, "was not due to a
design error" and said the airworthiness of the aircraft is maintained.

Danish aviation authorities had earlier issued a preliminary report that
indicated a piece of debris – a rubber o-ring – lodged in the landing gear had
prevented the gear from extending properly, causing the most recent incident.

Two previous incidents in early September were already found to have been
caused by corrosion in a bolt in another section of the landing gear. Following
those incidents, all 165 Q400s in use worldwide were temporarily grounded and
the part in question inspected.

EASA said its concerns about that bolt have already been met through the
previous directives that recommended airlines take remedial actions.

Officials of the airworthiness authorities of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and
Canada as well as representatives of Bombardier and the landing-gear
manufacturer Goodrich Corp. participated in the airworthiness review meeting at
EASA's headquarters in Cologne, Germany.

According to the EASA statement, Scandinavian airworthiness authorities will "
reissue the Certificates of Airworthiness relevant to this aircraft type in the
coming days."

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