Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Recent DHC-8 landing gear problems in Japan

DHC-8News media are reporting that a Bombardier DHC-8-103 airplane operated by Japanese regional carrier Amakusa Airlines Co. made an emergency landing in Kumamoto Prefecture in southwestern Japan because its landing gear failed to lower. A brief article on Bloomberg.com about the incident quotes officials of the Japanese Transport Ministry who said that the aircraft landed safely after the gear was lowered manually. There were no injuries to the 15 passengers and three crew aboard the aircraft.

This incident follows another a week ago when a similar aircraft operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) made a nose gear-up emergency landing at Kochi airport in western Japan after the gear failed to deploy. That aircraft, a DHC-8-400, was carrying 56 passengers and four crew. None were reported to be injured.

An article about last week's emergency landing on FlightGlobal.com includes photos of the damaged aircraft after it came to a rest on the runway. The article says that live television pictures of the emergency landing in Kochi showed sparks from the nose as it made contact with the runway on the landing roll.

ANA subsequently grounded its entire fleet of Bombardier planes and the Japanese Transport Ministry ordered emergency inspections for all 36 Bombardier DHC-8s in use in Japan, according to CBC News in Canada. After the inspection, the aircraft were returned to service.

CBC News quoted Bombardier spokesman Marc Holloran who said this was the first incident of its kind since the so-called Q400 series of aircraft was put into service in 2000.