British Columbia

IcelandAir claims B.C. shop's faulty maintenance led to landing gear collapse

Iceland's national airline has sued an aircraft maintenance company in Kelowna, B.C., claiming the shop bungled the installation of its landing gear before it collapsed during a landing two years ago.

Airline claims staff used wrong nut to install gear before incident in 2020

A photo from an interim report issued by the Transport Accident Investigation Board in Iceland shows Iceland Air flight FI529 after its landing gear collapsed at Keflavik International Airport on Feb. 7, 2020. (Transport Accident Investigation Board of Iceland)

Iceland's national airline has sued an aircraft maintenance company in Kelowna, B.C., claiming the shop bungled the installation of its landing gear before it collapsed during a landing two years ago.

IcelandAir claimed staff at Kelowna Flightcraft used the wrong nut to install the landing gear on a Boeing 757 in late 2019. Several weeks later, the gear broke upon landing at Keflavik International Airport.

"Icelandair claims the main landing gear collapse was caused by the negligence and/or breach of contract of Kelowna Flightcraft," according to the claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday, nearly two years to the day after the incident.

There were 166 people — 160 passengers and six crew — on board flight FI529 when it arrived in Iceland from Berlin on Feb. 7, 2020. 

The landing gear on the plane's right side collapsed after hitting the runway, officials said. An interim report from the Icelandic Transport Accident Investigation Board attributed the collapse to a "failure of swivel attachment to main strut."

Photos from the runway showed the plane came to rest on its engine, tilted over to the right.

No one was hurt. 

Kelowna Flightcraft — also known as KF Aerospace — has not filed a response to the claim in court but sent a statement to CBC News.

"Icelandair is a valued client and KF Aerospace takes pride in providing exceptional service to Icelandair and all of its clients," wrote Grant Stevens, the company's chief corporate services officer. 

"Aerospace's insurers are currently looking into the allegations made against it in the Notice of Civil Claim, but because this matter is now before the courts, it would not be appropriate for KF Aerospace to comment further publicly."

Landing gear 'overhaul'

IcelandAir wanted to overhaul the plane's landing gear before the incident, the lawsuit said.

The airline ordered new landing gear from a manufacturer in Florida in November 2019 and had it shipped to Kelowna Flightcraft for installation.

According to the claim, the manufacturer shipped the gear with a large nut "loosely placed" on a side strut swivel to keep it from being damaged during transit.

A photo from investigators showed the plane's right main landing gear collapsed behind the right engine after the landing on Feb. 7, 2020. (Transport Accident Investigation Board)

Iceland Air claimed Kelowna Flightcraft used the shipping nut — not the proper one — to fasten the side strut swivel to the main strut, even though, according to the lawsuit, the shipping nut was too big and came with a "caution tag" attached.

Kelowna Flightcraft sent the plane back to Iceland on Jan. 6, 2020.

The airline, which had been doing business with the shop for more than a decade, is claiming costs for damage to the plane and lost revenue.

now