October 21, 2010 / 4:31 PM / in 7 years

Canada issues safety alert for Bombardier aircraft

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian aviation authorities are calling on the operators of roughly 600 regional jets made by Bombardier Inc to urgently inspect the planes’ landing gear after two cases of dangerous malfunctions.

The directive, released by Transport Canada at the beginning of the week, requires swift inspection of seals and other parts that can jam landing-gear systems on certain 70- to 90-seat CRJ700 and CRJ900 jets.

Montreal-based Bombardier, the world’s No. 3 civil aircraft maker, confirmed on Thursday that the Transport Canada order came as the result of the company’s own alert to clients.

It called for inspections within 50 takeoffs and landings after the issue of the service bulletin.

“We specifically set the compliance time at 50 cycles for specific serial numbers knowing that this would prompt Transport Canada to issue an emergency airworthiness directive,” said Bombardier spokesman John Arnone.

“The safety and quality of our products remain our top priorities.”

Bombardier said its alert followed “a specific incident in the United States,” but it did not go into detail.

On September 25, a CRJ900 jet made an emergency landing at JFK Airport in New York when its right landing gear jammed up. There were no injuries.

Transport Canada cited two incidents of malfunction in its directive, but it did not elaborate. A representative of the agency was not immediately available for comment.

Shares of Bombardier were up 3 percent at C$5.22 on the Toronto Stock Exchange at midday on Thursday.

The Transport Canada directive can be viewed in PDF form here

Reporting by John McCrank in Ottawa and Phil Wahba in New York; editing by Peter Galloway

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