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Gear inspections 'not effective'

An aircraft accident that caused an airport shut down has led to crash investigators to call for safety checks.

Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood airport was closed for several hours at the height of the holiday season last month after the left main landing gear of a BAE Systems Jetstream 31 plane collapsed after the aircraft landed.

With the left landing gear detached from its mounts, the aircraft slid along the runway at the Yorkshire airport and came to rest on the adjacent grass, with the single passenger and the two crew members able to get out unhurt.

In a special bulletin into the incident on the evening of August 15 2014, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said today that preliminary findings indicated that stress corrosion cracking at the top of the left landing gear leg had initiated the collapse.

Operated by LinksAir, the aircraft had been on a scheduled flight from Belfast City Airport.

The AAIB said that on March 8 2012, the same aircraft, then operated by airline Manx2, had suffered a failure to its right main landing gear as it landed at Isle of Man airport. None of the 12 passengers nor two crew was hurt.

The AAIB said today that its investigation into the March 2012 had led to a safety recommendation to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) concerning the identification of cracks on landing gears fitted to Jetstream 31 aircraft.

The AAIB report added that given the similarities of last month's incident to the one in 2012 "it is evident that the inspections of, and the modifications to, the left main landing gear of G-GAVA (the LinksAir Jetstream) were not effective in preventing this accident".

Today's report recommended the AAIB check Jetstream 31s of the kind involved in last month's incident.

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