Mitsubishi Regional Jet Struggles To Join Siblings In Washington
A fourth Mitsubishi MRJ90 test aircraft, JA23MJ, scheduled to fly from Honolulu International to the continental United States and join its siblings undergoing certification testing at Moses Lake, Washington, had to return to the airport shortly after departure on Thursday morning. The reason for the diversion is inaudible in publicly available ATC recordings, but the pilots requested to stop climb at 9,000 and return to the field. The first MRJ90 to come to the U.S. for testing in the summer of 2016 had to turn back on its first attempt after having issues with an air conditioning system. It’s possible that problem is also present in JA23MJ.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has reportedly contracted with AeroTec, an aircraft certification specialist with offices in Seattle and Moses Lake, to coordinate the certification flight test program. AeroTec is the go-to provider of flight test coordination for Boeing, having worked on five variants of the 737 and three variants of the 777, among others. Two of the four MRJ90 aircraft have been flying regularly in the Moses Lake area. The newest aircraft, JA24MJ, had been based outside Chicago, flying in the Midwest, the Great Lakes and central Canada, in search of icing conditions for much of February. Mitsubishi says that aircraft has since been sent to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for extreme temperature testing. Mitsubishi currently hopes to deliver the first customer aircraft in mid-2020.
Image Credit: FlightRadar 24 AB
Photo Credit: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation