SAS Permanently Grounds Q400 Fleet

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Bombardier insists its Q400 airliners are safe despite SAS's decision to "permanently" ground its fleet of 27 of the aircraft after a partial gear-up landing in Copenhagen Saturday. The decision came after the airline's third landing-gear-related emergency landing in a little more than a month. But Bombardier said in a statement that Saturday's incident did not appear to be related to the two previous incidents and it advised carriers using the aircraft to continue as normal. The right main gear failed to deploy on the SAS Q400 at Copenhagen Airport. The flight crew was able to slide it safely to a stop on the foam-covered runway with no injuries to the 44 people, including two infants, on board. In a news release, SAS management said the airline and its customers were losing confidence in the aircraft.

"Confidence in the Q400 has diminished considerably and our customers are becoming increasingly doubtful about flying in this type of aircraft," CEO Mats Jansson said. "Accordingly, with the Board of Directors' approval, I have decided to immediately remove Dash 8 Q400 aircraft from service." In mid-September, after two landing-gear-related mishaps involving SAS aircraft, Transport Canada issued an airworthiness directive (AD) ordering inspection of landing gear mechanisms on all aircraft with more than 10,000 cycles. Q400s carried about 5 percent of SAS's passengers and the airline says there will be service disruptions while it redeploys other aircraft and leases planes to fill the void.