The jet that skidded, sparks flying, to a stop at Kennedy Airport on Saturday is the latest incident in two years of five Bombardier Aerospace manufactured aircraft forced to land with faulty landing gear, records show.
In each incident, four in the United States and one in Africa, a CRJ series jet made by Bombardier was forced to land without all landing gear. None of the incidents involved serious injury, according to the Federal Aviation Administration reports.
Marc Duchesne, a spokesman for Bombardier, of Montreal, said all but one of the incidents remains under investigation. "There's no way we can comment on them," Duchesne said Tuesday.
The incident no longer under investigation, a Dec. 15, 2008, emergency landing in Chicago, was the result of "a maintenance issue" involving a landing gear door, he said.
Delta Connection Flight 4951, which had departed Atlanta destined for Westchester County Airport, was approaching the airport at about 8 p.m. Saturday when Capt. Jack Conroy told air traffic controllers the right landing gear wasn't working. Controllers rerouted the plane with 60 passengers aboard to Kennedy. Conroy landed the CRJ 900 twin-engine jet with sparks shooting from the right side.
The CRJ series' landing gear was the subject of a FAA airworthiness directive in July, which directed maintenance crews to replace key parts. But Jarek Beem, a spokesman for Atlantic Southeast Airlines Inc., which operated Flight 4951 for Delta, said the airworthiness directive didn't apply to the CRJ 900 jet involved in Saturday's emergency landing.
The first of the five documented incidents occurred on Dec. 15, 2008, when a Mesa Airlines flight departed Chicago's O'Hare International Airport bound for Indianapolis. The crew aboard the CRJ 700 jet reported an "unsafe gear" message in the cockpit and declared an emergency. The jet was rerouted back to O'Hare, where it landed using its nose and right landing gear.
On June 11, 2009, a Delta Connection flight involving a CRJ 200 landed safely in Atlanta after the pilot reported the left landing gear wasn't working. The plane made an emergency landing with landing gear "not fully extended,"the FAA incident report said. A CRJ 200 operated by SA Express Airways landed without its front nose gear on April 17, 2010, at Windhoek Airport in Namibia. Thirty-three passengers and four crew escaped injury, according to published reports.
On May 23, a SkyWest Airlines CRJ 200 jet couldn't extend its nose gear but landed safely at Ontario California Airport. The plane landed with its nose gear "in the retracted position," said the FAA incident report.