Landing Gear Collapse Prompts Q400 Grounding
A second incident in three days involving collapsed landing gear on a Scandinavian Airlines Bombardier Q400 has prompted Bombardier to recommend that operators ground any Q400 that has accumulated more than 10,000 landing gear cycles until they complete emergency inspections. The latest incident happened this morning in Vilnius, Lithuania, three days after the right landing gear of an SAS Q400 collapsed upon touchdown in Aalborg, Denmark, resulting in five injuries. No injuries resulted from today's incident, which also involved the airplane's right landing gear. The 78-seat turboprop was on its way to the western Lithuanian city of Palanga but landed at Vilnius after the crew discovered the problem while airborne.
SAS grounded all 27 of the Q400s it flies under its brand, and the airline's Norwegian subsidiary, Wideroe's Flyveselskap, grounded the four that it flies. Meanwhile, Austrian Airlines has grounded eight Q400s, the UK's Flybe six, Japan Airlines three and Germany's Augsburg Airways five. In the U.S., Seattle-based Horizon Air has grounded 19 of its 33 Q400s, forcing it to cancel 113 flights. A spokeswoman for Horizon said that parent company Alaska Airlines will send 13 Boeing 737s to help compensate for the lost capacity. Bombardier and Goodrich, supplier of the landing gear, expect to issue inspection instructions to all Q400 operators later today.