David Kaminski-Morrow, Air Transport Intelligence News, October 30, 2007
Danish investigations into the Scandinavian Airlines Bombardier Q400 gear-up landing in Copenhagen at the weekend have discovered that a blockage in a retraction actuator prevented the right -hand landing-gear extending.
The finding supports initial suggestions that the 27 October event was unrelated to the two gear collapse accidents involving Scandinavian Airlines Q400s at Aalborg and Vilnius on 9 and 12 September.
Danish investigation authority HCL says the right-hand main landing-gear only partially deployed during the approach to Copenhagen, and attempts to recycle the gear and use alternative extension procedures failed to resolve the problem. Corroded retraction actuators, which had then disconnected, had been found on the Q400s involved in the earlier accidents but HCL says the actuator on the Copenhagen aircraft was found to be intact and still connected to the undercarriage. But it states that further examination identified a blocked orifice within the actuator assembly which prevented the complete extension of the right main gear. “This finding is not related to the two previous accidents,” says HCL. “The source of the blockage is unknown at this time and the investigation continues.”
HCL’s discovery appears to back manufacturer Bombardier’s earlier claim that this latest event was unconnected to those last month. SAS Group grounded all Q400s after the first two accidents in order to replace appropriate landing-gear components on its entire fleet, and the aircraft had only been back in service for a few days when the Copenhagen event occurred.
Any old car buff probably has on his study wall of the vintage ‘blower’ Bentley in a remote place, covered in an old tarpaulin and chicken litter. They may even be a hen parked irreverently in the drivers seat clucking over her egg as the barn door opens splaying light across the magical scene.
This fantasy lives on in another form with the aircraft collectors advances across Europe and the newly opened Eastern Block and Russia. I have photographs (ok, later) of major, fairly intact sections of a Stuka (JU 87) found by an acquaintance in Russia and presumably exported to Europe for restoration. Like other aircraft either crashed or forced down in that extremely cold and low humidity environment, it looks as though it landed yesterday. Its paint work and unit markings bright as the day they were dropped in the snow, though pierced with bullet holes created by their persuers.
I became involved some time ago in the restoration of a FW189 that had been discovered in Russia. It had been shot down by a couple of LAK 5′s and was resting inverted in a clearing in the cold wastes between St Petersburg and Archangel. The Germans lost over 500 aircraft trying to cut, and keep out of action the railway line connecting the town and the city.
For one reason or another I didn’t retain my association with that project; the detail of the discovery and restoration would make another fine story. The excitement that surrounds these enterprises borders on hysterical sometimes and I am sure lives have been taken in the squabbles over spoils. You need to use your imagination there a bit.
Back to the Spitfire. pretty, isn’t she? I have this old friend (I used to fly with his father) who is Welsh (not that you would notice) and speaks a little Russian (work that one out) you see, who is….
Sorry – not a story that can be told yet, more perhaps much, much later…. maybe.
Interesting isn’t it Henry?
Here are some interior shots of Singapore Airlines new A380.
If what we see is what is going to enter service the Worlds airlines have a new standard in air travel to meet. But will it work and pay? Does Fortune really favor the brave?
A quick break from the rough and tumble of the aeronautical world to take a quick look at where our pressurized aluminum tubes actually take us. Everyone has their favorite places, mine are India and Africa. The Dark Continent has a mystery all of its own and if you spend too much time there, you become entranced. The reasons for this are many and varied but for me it is the quality of the light, the wilderness and in particular, the wildlife.
Some years ago now I was scheduled to fly to Lusaka in Zambia, it was a four day trip with two local nights off which provided us with some ‘in country time’ giving us an opportunity to cast about and see something of the local color. “Who fancies a safari?” was the call and we all, the whole crew answered it crushing our dollars into the hands of the agent who arranged the trip. And what a trip it turned out to be; a thorough education in what it means to be out in the bush in Africa.
I won’t run on but will show you some photographs taken by a colleague of mine. Dave Stevens is one of our training captains and quite a character. He is one of life’s enthusiasts gifted with a quick mind and an inquisitive nature that takes him places many of us would never go. Dave is never happy until he has rooted out the cause of a problem or made something work that was broken. He also has a keen artistic and compassionate eye. I am sure you will agree but judge for yourself as you cast your eyes across the photos that he took whilst in Lusaka not so long ago.
I try and learn something from everyone I fly with, that might sound a bit worthy but in reality I probably do it for selfish reasons, life is full of surprises and you never know what might come your way if you keep your eyes open and ears pinned back. Besides, it makes the bit in the middle go that much more quickly.
The best of luck guys, you are making history.
Recognise this picture? China is constraining the growth of it’s carriers, particularly new start-ups to take the load of f her infrastructure. A move that India must be planning if not implementing if internal pressures and dynamics allow. Both nations are desperately short of pilots. Good eh?
Ever since I was a little chap this aircraft has captivated me (and the rest of several generations). For sheer beauty it has no peer, a truth as self evident to me as the blue of the sky or the steel grey of the sea. We will never again see an engine that produces a symphony of such beauty and complexity; engineers and artists strive all over the world to restore and remanufacture components so that that those twelve cylinders can sing on.
A friend flies a P51 when he operates to the US and others fly similar types around the bazaars. Another colleague flies a DC3 and a two seat Spitfire as a check pilot in his spare time. Though I had an opportunity to do so, I decided long ago not to move in the heavy metal direction. That was around the time I moved away from the display scene. It is very expensive and hugely time consuming; my path lay in a different direction at the time. The gentle tug at the heart strings never stops though, during the summer Yeovlton Air Day often brings the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster through the overhead as we live beneath the Yeovilton MATZ. Ahh, Sigh for a Merlin.
So… I have a friend who flies for Emirates and it was his birthday the other day, he just passed fifty and we shared a glass with him and friends as he was home from Dubai and lives just down the road. During the social whirl and the gentle chinking of glasses I met two charming people who also live nearby and share a love (infatuation) of horses with Teresa and Mike’s wife Mary. During our conversation it spilled out that they have a very good friend who has a Spitfire which he keeps at Yeovilton. Interesting I thought, the good old Triumph Spitfire was a neat little runabout sports car from the 70s. Why would he want to store it at RNAS Yeovilton? Then I caught on – it took but a fraction of a second. It’s not the sort of machine you store, it lives in a hanger.
The gentleman is also going to the Birthday party and apparently looking forward to meeting up for a chinwag about flying; well there’s a thing, so am I. I wonder if he will let me clean the oil from her belly and polish the windscreen? Perhaps some pictures would be possible, maybe a nice digital recording of her starting up… you never know. If it is appropriate I will write more later.