Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grounded

Wow. Just wow. Interesting times for my last week at this airline. Nearly 2/3 of our Megawhackers were grounded indefinately today.

This all stemmed from an incident that took place in Denmark a few days ago. You can find video here. The SAS crew had a right main gear unsafe indication in the cockpit and ran the appropriate procedures while circling to burn off fuel; on landing the right main gear collapsed, causing the wing and right prop to come into contact with the runway with spectacular results. The right engine started on fire but SAR was on it right away. There were only five light injuries.

Turns out that this was the second incident involving the right main landing gear at SAS in three days. The Megawhacker has been plagued by landing gear problems from day one, though - recall the ANA flight in Japan that landed without a nosewheel a few months ago. Bombardier has called for the voluntary grounding of all Megawhackers with more than 10,000 cycles on the airframe until they can be inspected. My airline has wisely chosen to comply, although that means 19 of our 31 Megawhackers are down. Bombardier hasn't put together the inspection program yet, so nobody knows how long they'll be grounded. We've cancelled over 100 flights so far today alone. This is going to be expensive.

As for me, my last trip at this company was supposed to be next week, but I don't know how much of it I'll end up flying. I may have just flown my last flight in the Megawhacker. We'll see. In the meantime, they're deadheading us home - in that reliable workhorse of the fleet, the Miniwhacker.

3 comments:

Joel said...

Wow. Seems like a good time to switch aircraft. Glad to be getting out?

Bluffton Street Fair said...

Sam,
With luck like yours you should be Vegas bound. You're transitioning to perhaps the coolest commercial jet to fly right now, and right when the megawhacker is ready to ride the ATR-72 path. Personally I love a good turboprop but John Q. Public loves seeing turbofans hanging from the wing. Thats why the Barbie jet and Jungle Jet 145 are not that popular.
I'm so thrilled you are not going to be piloting the San Antonio Sewer Tube, but I have a lot of Delta Connection time back in the day from Cincinnati to Ft. Wayne.
It kind of sucks that you aren't likely to fly the Q-400 again but the Jumbo Jungle Jet awaits.
When i buy my PC-12 do you want to step down to play PIC and flight instructor?
Jgw

Olli Vainio said...

Indeed, there was also a second incident at Vilnius involving the SAS megawhacker. Also right main gear failure on landing.

But what I wonder...why the crew didn't shutdown the right engine in the Aalborg incident. Or feather the prop(does Megawhacker have a prop brake btw?). As seen from the video, the prop went to zillion pieces and lots of them ended up going trough the hull, luckily no one was badly injured by them.

Is there a clear procedure in a situation like this to shutdown/not to shutdown the engine? Would you have elected to shut the engine down?

//Olli