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Q400 Catches Fire In Flight

A Q400 made an emergency landing Tuesday after an engine fire.
A Q400 made an emergency landing Tuesday after an engine fire. (CBS Photo)

Officials from Bombardier and Pratt and Whitney Canada are in Philadelphia helping authorities there get to the bottom of a serious incident involving a Q400.

United Express flight 4882 from Raleigh, North Carolina to Newark, New Jersey made an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday after an engine caught fire in flight. There were 75 people on board.

The engine was still on fire when the aircraft landed and airport fire crews doused it with foam. there were no injuries.

“The cockpit received an overheat indication, prompting the shutdown of one engine,” regional contractor Republic Airlines , which operated the flight on behalf of United Express, said in a news release. “All aboard deplaned on the runway… and alternate transportation arrangements are being made for the passengers.”

P&WC and Bombardier both confirmed they are helping get to the bottom of the incident.

“Pratt & Whitney Canada is working with authorities, the operator and the aircraft manufacturer in order to assess the situation,” spokesman Marc Duchesne said in a statement. Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera told Reuters the Q400 is a “robust and reliable aircraft” and the company will be in on the investigation. The airline’s maintenance department is also involved.

The passengers got out of the plane on the runway and were found another way to Newark.

Pilot Banned From Airport After Crash

An ultralight amphib pilot was warned his aircraft was unsafe.
An ultralight amphib pilot was warned his aircraft was unsafe. (CP Photo)

A B.C. ultralight pilot has been barred from using King George Air Park in Surrey, B.C. after crash landing on a nearby freeway during rush hour.

Paul Deane-Freeman, who suffered a fractured vertebrae in the mishap, has been told to clear out his hangar at the field, just east of Vancouver.

“He will not be welcome at the King George Airpark anymore,” said airport manager Arnold Klappe.

Klappe told the CBC Deane-Freeman had been warned repeatedly that the engine on his amphibious aircraft was unreliable and that he shouldn’t fly it until the problems had been fixed.

Deanne-Freeman told the network he should have heeded the manual for the unnamed engine which warned against using it in any kind of aircraft.

“In the manual it says [these engines can be] subject to sudden stoppage, so I guess they mean that. They are not certified for use in any kind of aircraft, it says.”

Deane-Freeman said that once his back heals he’s anxious to get back in the air, despite the feelings of his fellow pilots.

300 Bell Layoffs At Mirabel

Bell Helicopters is laying off 300 people at its Mirabel plant.
Bell Helicopters is laying off 300 people at its Mirabel plant.

Two weeks after winning the second of two Canadian Coast Guard contracts, Bell Helicopter announced it’s laying off 300 workers at its Montreal-area operation.

Citing reduced demand for military helicopters, Bell, a division of Textron that is based in Texas, said it was cutting its global workforce by 1,100.

The news comes two weeks after a sole-source contract for seven Bell 412 EPI aircraft was announced amid government boasts that the contract would create jobs.

Before the most recent announcement, Bell ended up the only bidder for a 15-aircraft deal when other bidders withdrew, saying the bid requirements were slanted in Bell’s favour.

The company said the world market is to blame after a decade of robust sales.

“Across the industry, global commercial orders and deliveries in the medium market continue to be significantly below forecast,” the company said in  a news release Tuesday.

All types of staff will be affected but the number of layoffs may be reduced if some employees accept a voluntary severance package.

 Crowds Flock to See Waterbombers

The annual practice visit by NWT CL-215s has become a fundraiser for the Kelowna COPA flight
The annual practice visit by NWT CL-215s is a fundraiser for the Kelowna COPA flight.       Photo by Rick Montagnon.

Pamela Nelson
COPA Flight #36 Captain, Kelowna

The Kelowna community holds a special place in its heart for aircraft and crews dedicated to fire suppression. Knowing this, the Kelowna and District Flying Club recognized the opportunity to invite members of the general public to get “up close and personal” with the NWT Government’s Canadair CL-215s during their annual training visit to the Okanagan.

As soon as the Flying Club Event Captain received confirmation of dates for the annual crew training on Okanagan Lake, the event was quickly organized with the co-operation of the Fire-Suppression Training Team Manager and the Buffalo Airways Ltd. pilots as a fundraiser for the Kelowna group’s June COPA For Kids event.

Despite looming rain clouds the crowds were lining up outside the security gates at Apron 3 well before the designated 17:00 opening. Organizers quickly discovered the need to open both gates to the tarmac to better facilitate entry to the over 400 people who attended.

This year marked the third annual visit by these beloved ‘ducks’ to train on the warmer waters of Okanagan Lake since the lakes in the NWT are still covered in ice. The annual visit by the astounding  aircraft is welcome and enjoyed by the local residents. Every resident who lived in Kelowna in 2003 will remember the sense of relief, the feelings of hope, that accompanied the sight of the water bombers who fought the advancement of the Okanagan Mountain Park fire that threatened, and took, so many homes.

The working visit of the CL-215s provides an immense opportunity  for the Kelowna Flying Club to share their passion for aviation, and increase awareness of private aviation to the general public. It is not often the general public are permitted entry to or welcomed to, the other side of the fence, especially at one of Canada’s busiest international airports. As all aviators know promotion and awareness of private aviation activity is critical to the availability and long-term sustainability of Commercial aviation.  One thing is certain: every career pilot starts the same way, by earning their student pilot rating.

This event was remarkably supported by the Kelowna International Airport and Buffalo Airways Ltd., and special mention goes to Buffalo Airways Ltd. for their donations and to CL-215 Pilot Daniel Cattoni who generously donated two of the Buffalo Airways – Home of Ice Pilots (Icarus, May 31 2012) hardcover photo books for additional fundraising support.

Pilots and crew from Buffalo Airways Ltd. received a warm welcome from the crowd, and were generously accommodating and friendly. The collector photo cards were quickly snapped up by the hundreds of kids in attendance eager to secure autographs. Who knows, maybe one of them will one keenly remember this event when they celebrate earning their own private pilot license.