Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fracture responsible for Croatia emergency

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.


  1. Oh this is just wonderful, so they are actually allowing for aircraft with cracks to take off from Zagreb. This is really reassuring to know. I wonder why were the other aircraft forced to land.

    1. this could happen with any make of aircraft,WOW sensors are in location where are exposed to weather and other adverse conditions and the stuff happens....

    2. these cracks are microscopic and are offten as a result of stress aicraft go through when in service, high altitude cold and heavy toll on front wheel when landing. Issue has be of concern with many airlines and in particular with this aircraft model.

      But that being said, you can't really detect these cracks in simple maintenance checks and even general overhaul each aircraft goes through every year.

      Now that Croatian Airlines knows what to look for they'll be looking at all their Dash 8 aircraft for similar issues and possibly withdraw entire fleet of Dash 8 to do general maintenance over next few months.

      And this is what they're doing now, reason why they needed to lease 2 additional aircraft to cover aircraft that will be out of service for next 6 months due to lengthy overhaul.

      All aircraft are insured so cost to the OU will be not utilizing aircraft and making money off them.

      Croatian Airlines by far has best seafty record of all airlines in the region, and best airline service in the region, so they rather be safe than sorry.

      New hanger is to be built early on next year in 2014 and possibly 2 more hangers in 2015 and 2016 to cope with increased business from other airlines but also to maintain OU's own fleet.

      Currently OU has only 2 hangers, each measuring 70x87m, new one that is to be built will be also about the same size.

      Longer term calls for large technical facility paralleled to new terminal on opposite side of runway, which also be extended by 250m on each side by 2017 for total length of 3750.

      Also land where new terminal is be built was cleared of all Air Froce infrastructure, with plans to tare down few last structures by the end of this year, construction on actual terminal should start in April 2014, and terminal should be up by mid 2016, although it won't oppen for traffic before late 2016, work on 2nd Runway should start around same time, 2nd 3km runway will be built to serve Croatian airforce needs as well as Airport needs, Croatian government is in process of buying out lands from private landlord where 2nd runway will be built, process is expected to be finished by end of 2015.

      New terminal will get high speed tram/light rail connection, station will be built underneath the new terminal with direct link to Zagreb city center.

      Bright future ahead for Croatia.

    3. Erm... Croatia Airlines isn't safer than Adria. When was the last time you remember Adria having an incident?! Exactly. So Croatia can only be second, behind us, as always.

      Also, Croatia might have a bright future but not Croatia Airlines. Sorry.

    4. @AnonymousOctober 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      International airline ranking Croatian Airlines is best rated airline from the region, ahead of all other airlines. Safety issues have never been an issue, OU' will face few issues with the fleet cause they fly a lot more than Adria.

      Also aircraft type in question has had rather charismatic history and problem with front landing gear has been one of the major problems for many airlines that use that type.

  2. OT: Yesterday Austrian flight OS 757 Vienna-Sarajevo had to abort landing at Sarajevo, then circle north of SJJ and land after an hour. Does anyone know why? Adverse weather?

  3. OT:
    Etihads takeover of Jat/Air Serbia definitely violates ownership laws of the European Union.
    EY has effective control over them and also appoints their management,which is illegal.
    The Serbian government has now two options:

    1.Terminate the contract with EY and fire the new management team.
    But without EYs financial backing Air Serbia will face immediate bankruptcy...

    2.Go ahead with Air Serbia and face punishment measures from the EU...

    Option two is very unlikely.
    For sure Air Serbia will only exist for a short time,
    even if it would be a very efficient and profitable airline.

    It would not be the first case:
    Air Cargo Germany(ACG),whichs license was revoked by the German Civil Aviation Authority because it was effectively controlled by the Russian Air Bridge Cargo,
    which also held 49%.

    Look for ACG on the English version of Wikipedia
    for further details.

    1. Sour grapes. The EU commission had no objections to Air Serbia and the report was published yesterday.

    2. P.S Etihad did not appoint the managament. It was the Serbian government which was then approved by JU's assembly. The CEO is a Serbian citizen as well. Kepp up to date and don't be blinded by hatred so much :)

    3. The Eu commission has no objections to Air Serbias flight operations into the Eu.
      But thats not the point.
      Fact is that Air Serbias ownership is not in accordance with Eu-law.
      This will have tremendous impact on Serbias wish to become member of the Eu.
      Etihad will face a lot of problems because of this.

      There will come more

    4. Oh give us a break, the European Commission said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Serbia's civil aviation sector. I think they know better than you do.

    5. EU's yesterday report says you're wrong. Etihad's takeover has green light.

    6. Etihads takeover is not topic of yesterdays report.
      You mix up apples with oranges!

    7. Actually it is part of yesterday's report. One chapter of the report had to do with transport under which there is a special part dealing with civil aviation. If the European Commission had an issue with Etihad-Air Serbia then they would have said something.
      Plus, the document was sent out in August 2013. I think it is an outdated problem which has been solved since.

    8. Your conclusion regarding ACG is just not true. What happened is that ACG was owned 51% by German owners, and 49% by Russian investors, and the company went bankrupt! Then, however, it was impossible for the Russian partners, who already had the maximum of 49% of shares to invest more, as this would bring their share in the company above 50%, so they weren't able to save the company. There was absolutely nothing about "effective control" and 49% being something else than it actually is.

    9. So if the Serbian government fails to provide Air Serbia with money JU HAS to go bancrupt
      because Etihad would not be allowed to inject cash...
      You say the Russians werent able..
      No, they were able but were hindered to do so !

    10. The EU can try it but will fail....their discrimination of Serbia made this deal between EY and JU possible.
      As long Serbia is not in EU everything is possible.

    11. Exactly, the European Union can only bitch at this point but they have no mechanism to prevent Serbia from allowing Etihad to do what they want with Air Serbia.
      Brussels would NEVER ban Air Serbia from flying into the European Union. Let me remind you when the illegal Kosovar government banned Dacic from entering the country, the Serbian government threatened to stop all negotiations. So what did Brussels do? The next week they forced their puppets in Pristina to lift the ban. In other words, if Air Serbia was banned from flying into the EU, then Serbia would respond in an adequate manner. Especially since Air Serbia's privatization is one of the few positive things that the new Serbian government has managed to do.

      In conclusion, Air Serbia will be banned from flying into the EU only when Hell freezes over. I for one am happy that my government is actually standing up to the European Union when it matter.. unlike some.

    12. ^ I couldnt have said it better by myself !

  4. It was already discussed on
    Everybody there agrees that Etihad has bad cards...

    1. What bad cards? In case Serbia becomes EU member in the next five years, the state will buy back the Etihad stake. That stays in the agreement. What's the problem?

    2. The state does not have to buy anything as the sale was carried out by EU regulation. 49% was sold not more. The main problem people have is jelousy and the fact the airlune's name has the word "Serbia" in it. It will become worse next week when they see the on board product. On the other hand OU is putting up advertising stickers on the overhead bins

    3. Hahaha!
      The Serbian state has no money to buy back the Etihad stake.
      It also is not capable of running Air Serbia on its own.

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  7. The comparison with ACG is an interesting one.
    Obviously this company was considered by the German authorities a "trojan horse".
    I dont know what will come out of it but one thing is sure -
    Etihad and its partners will face obstruction from some parties who are not so happy with the changes the Etihad-Jat deal will bring with.
    I also want to remind that a statement of the comission is not a final one.
    All European member states have to agree on it in the end.
    A "yes"of the European commission is more of a sympathetic proposal.

    1. Correct LH !
      But there is a solution...
      Staying out of the Eu like Switzerland and Norway!
      Cooperation only when Serbia also profits from it.

  8. It will be interesting to see what becomes to Olympic's presence in Belgrade now that they were bought by Aegean.Maybe they will reverse their decision and keep flying into BEG.


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