Fracture to blame for landing gear jam
The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, BfU, has found that a fractured sensor cover jammed the nose gear on Croatia Airlines’ Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 on September 27 at Zurich Airport, leading to an emergency landing and the carrier’s most serious safety incident to date. Swiss authorities are yet to conclude their investigation though preliminary findings show a cover plate, which protects weight on wheel sensors, had broken at its attachment lugs. It had pivoted upwards and was squeezed between the nose gear’s upper and lower drag struts.
For the investigation to be fully completed, the Croatian Agency for Accident Investigation in Air, Sea and Rail Transport, as well Croatia Airlines engineers have to hand in their reports. “The Swiss authority are heading the investigation, but if our findings do not match, our investigation report will have to be published separately”, Dinko Vodanović, the head of the Croatian agency says. A four member team is heading the investigation in Croatia, however, it is unknown when they will report their findings.
The Dash 8 involved in the emergency, registered 9A-CQC, is still at Zurich Airport waiting to undergo repairs. It is estimated it will cost the airline half a million dollars with the aircraft unlikely to return to service until late December. The emergency landing was followed by several minor technical faults with the Dash 8 aircraft at the airline and a significant amount of bad press.
Meanwhile, the Croatian government will today officially launch procedures for the sale of a 49% stake of the airline. In August, the Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, said the carrier’s privatisation process is likely to begin on October 15. There will be two rounds of the tender process. The first will call for parties to express their interest while the second will outline precise sale conditions. The Croatian government has previously said it expects for the privatisation to be completed within the next six to nine months.