Airbus Returns To Cuba After Partial Rudder Loss

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An Air Transat Airbus 310 was about 30 minutes into a flight from Cuba to Quebec City on Saturday when the rudder became partially detached. The airplane returned safely to Cuba. Three other Airbus airplanes were grounded for inspection but returned to service after no problems were found. Reports that the Airbus was denied permission to land in Florida by U.S. air traffic controllers seem to have been false. U.S. controllers said they were never told about an emergency, and Air Transat said the crew chose to return to Cuba because they had maintenance crew there and were never refused permission to land in Florida. The aircraft involved was put into service in 1991. It had an inspection on March 1, and its next major inspection is scheduled for 2006, Air Transat said.