Archive for the 'Q400' Category

After Series Of Crashes SAS Buys Q400s Again

Following a series of serious crash landings last year, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) decided to stop operating Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 type in October 2007.

A debate between the manufacturer and the airline started right after the decision was made. Investigations showed that in all cases the source of the indients was the landing gear. Therefore it was not just Bombardier involved in the discussions; Goodrich, the manufacturer of the landing gears also took part.

Finally the three parties came to a very strange agreement. SAS will receive a compensation of approximately 165 million dollars. The weird part of the agreement is that SAS orders 27 new Bombardier aircrafts and 13 of the new planes will be Q400s. This means that a few months after SAS refused to continue the operation of Q400s, it orders 13 new ones.

Although the spokesman of the airline said the Q400 NextGen is modified in several ways compared to the old ones, still it looks a little bit strange for me.

Luckily I am not the CEO of the airline, nor am I in the board of directors. It must have been a tough situation to decide on the signing of such an agreement. I am wondering how they will communicate this to their passengers.

I am interested in your opinions about it. I recommend this video to everyone interested in this topic.

By Szafi 

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Best Of AirlineWorld 2007

This is the last day of the year. As billions of people around the world, we also took a look back to what happened in the old year and made some New Year’s Resolutions.

For us 2007 was not a full year as we started our blog in June. It was a nice calm Sunday and Szafi wrote her first post about the Radio Alphabet – a useful tool not just for aviation fans. Balint01 joined her on the 7th with his first post about “Fuller Planes – Good Or Bad?” – a brief explanation of revenue and capacity management of airlines.

A380 

A380 was one of our main topics this year. We could see the a video of an imaginery evacuation of an A380, we reported on that quite unusual initiation that Singapore Airlines sold the first tickets to the A380 on e-Bay and gave the money (USD 1,25 million) for charity. We tried to find out more about the possible cabin configurations and then we reported on the first delivery.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787, the Dreamliner was our other favorite topic. We wrote about it when it was revealed, we put it in our blog header, we reported on the first announcement of delay that predicted 2 months. Now it seems that a 6-month delay is more realistic.

Developments 

Besides A380 and B787 we saw the birth of a Russian jet called Sukhoi Superjet and a Chinese one called ARJ21-700. We kept track of technology trends in aviation. We wrote an article about RFID usage at airlines and airports, about e-ticketing, a new online payment method at Qantas, a weightless flight, a solar powered, unmanned aircraft. Also we were interested in service developments such as the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa’s new A380 First Class Concept, Boeing’s 747 development to keep up with A380,

Crashes 

Unfortunately again some serious accidents happened. We saw around 200 people dying in a very tragical crash in Sao Paulo, brazil. 19 people died in an accident of Air Moorea on the way to Tahiti. When China Airline’ 737 burst into fire and blew up, everybody could escape in time thanks to the flight crew, who was criticized for being rude – we thought it was better being rude than being inactive. Later it turned out that a loose bolt caused the fire. There was a sad collision of two planes at an Air Show in Radom, Poland. SAS Airlineshad a bad series of crash landings – without serious injuries – of its Dash 8 turboprop planes. Finally they decided on grounding all their Dash 8 fleet. 87 died in One-Two-Go Airlines crash in Phuket, Thailand. A few days later rallye driver champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash over Scotland. The most commented article was the weird accident of an Airbus A340 on the ground of the Airbus factory during testing. The last serious accident of the year was an MD-83 crash in Turkey killing 56.

Photo reports 

We received a lot of photos from our friends and airline enthusiasts, so we could show a photo report of a Royal Aircraft in Budapest, Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, an Air Show in Kecskemet and the A340 Airbus crash at the Toulouse Airbus factory.

Innovations 

We criticized airlines and other players of the industry about wrong steps and we were happy to present good initiations of other players. We found KLM’s promotion: a gift of a costmetics set for online bookers a very smart and useful initiation. We loved Iberia’s enviroment-friendly attitude with naming their new aircrafts Royal Owl, Imperial Eagle and other endangered species. We could read funny comments about an interesting topic: Vatican’s Air Mistral. IATA’s initiation of a greener aviation industry was also worth a post.

Sex and rock and roll 

And finally we tried to entertain those not interested in professional matters of the airline business with articles like Sex in an airplane, Sexy stewardess uniforms – with special attention to the self-designed uniform of Easyjet, Superstar pilots, Special aircraft paintings and we learned about where lost luggage end up going.

We also lost a very key figure of the European airline indusry. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair died on 03 October at the age of 71. Net year we will definately write an article about him, because only a few know about his role in today’s aviation business.

And what is our New Year’s resolution? Well, we’ll do our best to entertain you and draw your attention to the magic world of airlines we so much love.

We both wish you a very happy, successful new year and please keep on reading us! 🙂

By Szafi and balint01

According to European Aviation Safety Agency Q400 Is Safe

The European Aviation Safety Agency reported Wednesday that Bombardier Inc.’s Q400 turboprops are airworthy after ruling that a series of recent accidents were not caused by design flaws. “We are very pleased with that statement, it proves that the aircraft is safe to fly and that’s what we’ve been saying from the beginning,”Bombardier spokesman Marc Duschesne said.

The European air authorities conducted the review after Scandinavian airline SAS AB permanently grounded its fleet of 27 Bombardier-built Q400s after one of its planes made an emergency landing in Copenhagen on Oct. 27 with a landing gear malfunction, the third such incident in seven weeks.

No one was seriously injured, but the Scandinavian airline said the accidents had damaged confidence in the planes.

According to the EASA, the most recent incident “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 indicating that a piece of rubber stuck in the landing gear had prevented the gear from extending properly, causing the incident.

Source AP

By Szafi 

SAS Stops Q 400 Operation And Replaces Them

Following the recent period of events involving aircraft of the Dash 8 Q400 type, SAS’s management, following an unscheduled meeting of the Board of Directors held today, has decided to immediately discontinue the use of this type of aircraft.

“Confidence in the Q400 has diminished considerably and our customers are becoming increasingly doubtful about flying in this type of aircraft. Accordingly, with the Board of Directors’ approval, I have decided to immediately remove Dash 8 Q400 aircraft from service,” says Mats Jansson, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAS.
In January 2000, SAS was the first customer to use the Dash 8 Q400 in its traffic operations. The aircraft have accounted for approximately 5 percent of the Group’s passengers. The aim is to replace traffic based on the Q400 by reallocating current aircraft in the SAS Group’s fleet and by means of leasing.

“The Dash 8 Q400 has given rise to repeated quality-related problems and we can now conclude that the aircraft does not match our passengers’ requirements concerning punctuality and regularity. SAS’s flight operations have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and there is a risk that use of the Dash 8 Q400 could eventually damage the SAS brand,” says John
Dueholm, Deputy CEO of SAS.

In total 27 aircraft of SAS Group fleet of 303 aircraft are affected, accounting for approx 5% of total aircraft seat capacity.
SAS Group will do everything possible to mitigate the negative consequences for the passengers. Short and medium term SAS will take the following actions to handle the replacement of the Q400 fleet (with estimated time frame)

1. Review of network and reallocation of aircraft capacity within the SAS group (0-3 months)
2. External wet lease capacity (0-1 month)
3. External dry lease capacity (3-6 months)

In parallel, work has already been initiated how to replace the aircraft type long term. SAS expect to start to implement a long-term solution by second half of 2008.

An early estimate of the negative impact on the SAS Group result is around 300-400M SEK (USD 46 – 57 million) for the remaining part of the year. The estimate takes into account the above mentioned actions and lower seasonal demand in the coming months. It is based on revenue loss, fixed cost and negative feeder effects and comes in addition
to the effects communicated earlier.

Due to the decision, SAS’s traffic services will be affected by flight cancellations in the period immediately ahead. The customers concerned will be given an opportunity to either rebook or have their tickets refunded.

SAS press releases 28, 29 October 2007

By Szafi 

Copenhagen – Another Q400 Accident Again!

A plane carrying 46 people made an emergency landing at Copenhagen Airport in Denmark on Saturday, sliding onto its right wing after the landing gear collapsed, a police official said. No one was seriously injured in the accident, Copenhagen police spokesman Tommy Keil said. Prior to the accident, the pilots of the aircraft reported problems with its main landing gear, according to SAS.

The accident took place at 16:55 local time and the runway on which the aircraft landed — one of two at Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport — was closed after it happened. The Q400 involved bore the registration number LN-RDI and was operating SAS flight number SK 2867 from Bergen to Copenhagen, the airline said.

See all details on Aviation.com

LN-RDI earlier while landing at Copenhagen - by Airliners.net

As AirlineWorld reported it earlier, there were similar crashes of the Bombardier Q400, when Bombardier together with FAA recommended all operating carriers the grounding of their Q400 fleet for a safety check. We even had a discussion with Mr Murray Cohen, a flight engineer and Bombardier’s spokesman about the accuracy of this check. Now I am wondering what might have happened during that safety check when not late after relaunching them the first accident happens.

By Szafi 

Q400 Safety Issues

As AirlineWorld reported earlier, all Bombardier Q400s were advised to be grounded for a security check following the accident of Scandinavian Airline’s flight to Aalborg on September 9, 2007.

Following the article, we received a comment from Mr Murray Cohen:

“I am a retired flight controls engineer. I have been following the Q400 accidents that occurred in Denmark and Lithuania very closely and consider these accidents to be very critical situations. These failures are giving the aircraft industry a subtle, but urgent warning that must be addressed. I found a report, dated September 15, 2007 online re – Preliminary Report on Danish SAS Q400 accident that included a very useful drawing for analyzing the failure mode. It would also be very useful to review a drawing or sketch of the main landing gear retract/extend actuator, manufactured by the Goodrich Corp. in Tullahoma, Tennessee in order to confirm my analysis of these failures. Please note that a nose gear incident occurred on a Q400 in Japan on March 13, 2007, and I suspect that it is probable that it contains a similar actuator design as the main landing gear system. Another nose landing gear accident occurred in Munich, Germany on September 21, 2007. If this is true, it would be very important to inspect the nose landing gear actuator as well as the main landing gear actuator. In my study of the main landing gear reports, some investigators noted the fact that the jam nut backed off and the lockwire was missing. This condition, could eventually cause a disconnection of the rod end, which was also stated by investigators in preliminary reports. This failure may have actually occurred after 10,000 cycles while coupled with severe impact upon landings. This scenario seems very plausible. Most of the hydraulic actuators used in the aircraft industry contain a locking device to prevent rotation of the actuator piston, and are secured by a jam nut, and lockwired to prevent the jam nut and the locking device from backing off. Early discussions regarding this failure were stated that corrosion in the linkage probably played a major role in the accident. I don’t believe that corrosion played a significant role in these failures. My intention is not to interfere with the official investigation of these accidents, but to offer a feasible scenario to help solve the problem.”

I wrote a letter to Bombardier and I was given the following answer:

“Investigations into the Q400 right main landing gear incidents in Denmark
and Lithuania are
still continuing, as are the investigations into the nose landing gear
incidents in Japan and Munich.

We cannot comment or speculate on the root causes of these incidents until
such time as
the authorities have concluded their investigations and issued  their final
reports. We can however advise
that on the basis of published preliminary reports and comments by the
authorities as to the focus of their
investigations,  there is no relationship between the two nose landing gear
incidents and no relationship
between those and the Danish and Lithuanian incidents.

We suggest you contact the relevant aviation authorities for more
information.”

I think it is a correct answer and naturally we will carry on and contact the relevant authorities. In the meantime Mr Murray has left for holiday, but we are waiting for his comment.

If you are interested in the follow-up of this conversation, please make sure to add our blog’s RSS to your RSS reader!

By Szafi 

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