Just as it was inevitable that Kyla Ebbert, the scantily-clad Hooters waitress who suffered untold mental anguish at the hands of Southwest Airlines, would pose for Playboy, so too is Bombardier assured that every Q400 glitch – no matter how minor – will be scrutinized for some time to come, following SAS Group’s decision to axe its Q400 fleet after three prangs.
Take an incident that occurred on November 5, which was only just picked up by the press this week (including by myself). A Q400 being delivered to Algerian operator Tassili Airlines experienced problems with its landing-gear shortly after taking off from a refueling point in Portugal.
To be precise, one of the landing-gear doors failed to close. The aircraft is currently being repaired at Flybe’s facility in Exeter, UK and is likely to be delivered to Tassili this weekend.
That the incident received any coverage at all is a sign of just how much the Q400 remains under the microscope, despite broad industry backing and regulatory clearance.
As a close colleague of mine said, after hearing about the Tassili glitch: “Ye Gods, hey the toilet didn’t flush first time – stop the presses!”
Stop the presses, indeed. And while we're at it, let's give a hand to Kylie, who has parlayed her agonizing Southwest experience into big bucks (photo above courtesy of Crissy Pascual/Union-Tribune).
Kylie's Playboy shoot, by the way, is titled "Legs in the Air" (sarcasm aside, you gotta love that).