BAE Systems wins repair contract for SA Airlink Avro RJ85


BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has won a substantial contract from South African carrier Airlink for major repair work on an Avro RJ85 (manufacturer’s serial number E2285).

The repair is required as a result of an in-flight nose landing gear incident in early November where the wheel assembly became stuck in the “up” position which necessitated a landing without the benefit of a nosewheel. The aircraft landed safely and there were no injuries to the 73 passengers and four crew members. But there was extensive skin damage on the lower fuselage area as well as damage to the nose gear doors.

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft Repair Design Office inspected the aircraft and prepared an initial damage assessment, followed by a comprehensive damage report, BAE Systems says in a media statement. As a result of this work a repair design has been created together with implementation instructions.

As part of the repair activity, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is providing full project management of the repair and a senior Airline Operations Support Manager from Prestwick, Scotland, travelled to Johannesburg at the end of January to liaise with the airline. The repair team consisting of six specialist engineers are now in South Africa to carry out the repair which is estimated to be completed mid-month.

Backing up this effort will be a dedicated team at Prestwick to handle technical support aspects and queries and to procure specialist parts and spares as they are needed. Finally, at the end of the repair the Airline Operations Support Manager will revisit SA Airlink to ensure that the repair has been done to the satisfaction of the airline.

This repair follows on from other major repairs carried out in recent years by BAE Systems and its designated repair teams. These have included damage caused by a nose wheel landing gear incident on a Brussels Airlines RJ85 which was completed in 60 days and tail strike damage to a Swiss RJ100 at London City Airport which was completed in 68 days.

In addition to these major repairs, the Repair Design Office at Prestwick routinely designs over 2000 repair schemes each year to support the needs of the BAE Systems in-service fleet.

BAE Systems gave no value for the deal but Airlink confirmed to defenceWeb it was £560 000 (about R6.798 million).