SAS airline says Swedish prosecutor closes turboprop investigation


Stockholm, Sweden – Scandinavian airline operator SAS AB said Thursday that a Swedish prosecutor has decided to close an investigation into whether the company put its passengers at risk during turboprop accidents in Denmark and in Lithuania.

The probe related to two turboprop crash landings that occurred within a three-day time span in September 2007. No one was seriously injured in the accidents.

Prosecutor Gunnar Jonasson was quoted by the Swedish news agency TT as saying there were not enough evidence supporting the case and that “continued investigation is not expected to add anything further to the case.”

Jonasson was quoted as saying that between 20 and 30 people had been heard in the investigation relating to the accidents involving two SAS-owned Q400 turboprops made by Canadian plane maker Bombardier.

Both planes had landing gear problems, and SAS later dropped its 27 Bombardier-made Dash 8 Q400 aircraft from its fleet.

In a statement, SAS said it found it “gratifying and logical that the prosecutor has now established that SAS did not act incorrectly.”

“Both the Danish Accident Investigation Board and the aircraft manufacturer have previously stated that the cause of the two accidents in question was a design fault that could not have been detected by SAS’s maintenance program,” it said.