Above: photo of the incident scene, from the report.
(Originally published at 6:55 p.m. MST November 22, 2017)
The French government has released a report about an incident that occurred August 1, 2016 at Ajaccio. As best we can tell from the document, which is in French of course, is that a CL-415 experienced a mechanical failure in the right side landing gear while taxiing and turning left onto a runway before takeoff on a fire mission. When one of the components broke, the gear partially collapsed, causing the aircraft to tip to the right, coming to rest on the float under the wing tip.
Thankfully the crew was not injured.
The report appears to indicate that the problem was related to a maintenance issue due to a translation error in a technical document.
1er août 2016, Ajaccio : accident au roulage du Canadair CL415
«Affaissement du train d’atterrissage droit au roulage, par rupture d’un de ses composants suite à une erreur de maintenance générée par une faute de traduction dans une documentation technique». pic.twitter.com/XmZASZ9UBz
A video shot northwest of Marseille, France shows a CL-415 water-scooping air tanker clipping a mast on a barge in the Rhône River near the port of Vallabregues August 27, 2017.
Be sure and turn on the sound when watching the video.
Apparently no one was injured and the aircraft landed safely at Nîmes.
Below is a statement from Sécurité Civile that appears to be roughly translated from French:
The wing of the Fire-fighting plane is damaged, it will be unavailable for several weeks, there were projections on two barges, fortunately without making of wounded person. They are experimented and confirmed pilots who knew well the stretch of water. They managed to fly up to the base of Nîmes. The pilot and the co-pilot are shocked, they were suspended as a protective measure and are going to be examined by a specialized doctor who has to make sure that they are in capacity to re-fly.
The image below is a screenshot from the video at the 10-second mark just after the mast was sheared off. We added the yellow circle.
(Originally published at 3:52 p.m. MDT July 29, 2017.)
France’s Securite Civile (Department of Civil Defence and Emergency Preparedness) is replacing their ageing turbine-powered S-2 air tankers with Bombardier Q400-MR’s. The bids for the contract were advertised in 2016 and this week Gérard Collomb, Minister of the Interior, announced that they will place an order for six of the Multi-role aircraft that can carry up to 2,600 US gallons of water or retardant.
For several years Securite Civile has been pondering what to do about replacing their S-2’s that are approaching their structural life limit of 25,000 hours, according to the agency. Their plans announced last year were to retire the nine S-2’s between 2018 and 2022 which would require a two-year extension of the type certificate. The goal was to acquire aircraft that could carry more water or retardant, would reduce operating costs, and would be multi-role. The Q400 MR (the MR stands for “Multi-Role) can haul cargo or passengers in addition to operating in the firefighting realm.
On Monday the right side main landing gear on a CL-415 air tanker failed while the aircraft was taxiing prior to taking off at the Ajaccio, Corsica airport. When the gear collapsed the right side wing dropped to the ground damaging the float and causing some fuel to spill from a damaged fuel tank.
There were no injuries to the crew of the air tanker but the airport was closed for several hours until the aircraft could be moved.
The entire fleet of twelve CL-415s in France are grounded until an inspection can determine the cause of the gear failure. Depending on the findings, inspections may be required on all of the aircraft.
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France.
Below is a excerpt from a statement issued by Civil Security. It is roughly translated from French by Google:
The accident investigation office of Defense (CRDP), competent for state aircraft (…) triggered an investigation. Alongside technical survey is conducted in conjunction with the aircraft manufacturer, the Canadian company Bombardier.
Following these analyzes, which should take about 48 hours, Bombardier will determine whether it is necessary to carry out inspections on the landing gear of the Canadair fleet of civil security and in what protocol before allow the resumption of operations.
In addition to the CL-415 water scoopers, France also has access to S2-T and Dash 8 air tankers.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Jerome and Jan.