The US Federal Avaiation Authority (FAA) and Canadian aviation regulators have ordered the Canada-based regional jet maker Bombardier to fix flap malfunctions on its CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft operated by regional airlines. The fix involves replacing a part that lowers the wing flap.
Regulators have also directed Bombardier to put in place training and operational procedures to prepare crews for possible flap failures. The FAA directive covers 684 airplanes presently in service with US airlines, while Transport Canada's order affects 87 jets.
SkyWest said on 29 August that it had fixed the wing-flap problem on all of its 133 Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft, but modified its statement on 31 August to say that modifications had been made to only about 20 per cent of its regional jets.
An airline representative said the remaining jets would be set right within 120 days, which is the time given by the Federal Aviation Administration to Montreal-based Bombardier to address the problem. The representative declined to say why the airline claimed earlier that all the jets had been modified.
Wing flaps slow an airplane's stalling speed by increasing drag and lift. While flap problems are potentially unsafe, according to the FAA there is no immediate danger. Failures can result in longer landing distances and increased fuel consumption, the FAA added, emphasising that it would not allow any unsafe airplane to be flying.