An emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by Transport Canada yesterday calls for further inspection of Bombardier Q400 main landing gear (MLG) after line checks uncovered two cases of cam mechanism failure in the gear's alternate extension system (AES). The cam mechanism operates the cable to open the main landing gear door and releases the MLG uplock in sequence.
Qantas removed from service five of the 21 Bombardier Q400s operated by regional affiliate QantasLink in late August after the airline found a defect in what it described as a main landing-gear component. Qantas said it decided to inspect the airplanes and ultimately remove them from service after consultation with fellow Q400 operator Flybe and Bombardier.
The European Aviation Safety Agency last month determined that the failure of the main landing gear of a Scandinavian Airlines Q400 on October 27 did not result from a design flaw, and that the latest incident bore no direct relationship with the two earlier cases that led to the grounding of the airline’s entire fleet of 74-seat turboprops.
As the industry gathers in Gothenburg for this year’s general assembly, the ERA will certainly lament the absence of one of its stalwart airline members from Scandinavia–even if its passengers have taken little notice.