**Update: 09/01/21 @ 20:10 UTC – Statement provided by Jazz Aviation included below.**
On January 7th, a Jazz Aviation CRJ900LR flying from Sydney (Nova Scotia) to Toronto had to divert to Moncton (New Brunswick) after the aircraft’s lavatory smoke detector was triggered. Onboard the aircraft were 29 passengers and four crew members.
According to The Aviation Herald, the Bombardier-built CRJ900 was operating flight QK8219/AC8219 from Sydney to Toronto on January 7th. The aircraft took off at 05:53 local time and climbed out of Sydney’s runway 06 when the lavatory smoke detector was activated.
At 5,000 feet, the crew stopped the climb and set course to divert to Moncton airport located about 190nm west of Sydney, landing there about one hour later.
The remainder of the flight was canceled, with the passengers from flight 8219 rebooked onto subsequent flights from Moncton to Toronto.
As for the aircraft, it remained on the ground in Moncton for about 15 hours before getting re-positioned to Toronto as AC 7135. Data from FlightRadar24.com indicates that the aircraft hasn’t operated any flights since being sent to Toronto.
A word from the airline
Below is the statement provided by Jazz Aviation:
“Shortly after departure from Sydney Airport, enroute to Toronto, the crew of Air Canada Express flight AC8219 operated by Jazz Aviation received a rear lavatory smoke detector indication – there was no fire. As per our standard operating procedures the crew diverted to Moncton and requested priority landing. The flight landed safely and without incident, and the passengers deplaned normally at the gate. Emergency vehicles met and inspected the aircraft and confirmed there was no fire. Passengers resumed their travel on the next flight from Moncton to Toronto. A maintenance crew was dispatched to Moncton to inspect the aircraft to determine the cause and proceed with the necessary repairs. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
About the incident aircraft
The CRJ900, registered as C-FUJZ, is a 15.5-year-old regional jet that has flown with Jazz Aviation for its entire service life. With Jazz Aviation’s arrangement with Air Canada, the carrier has mainly used the jet for Air Canada services, typically under the banner of Air Canada Express.
While the aircraft was built as a Bombardier CRJ705, websites like FlightRadar24.com refer to it as a Mitsubishi CRJ900. Why is this?
Once Bombardier, now Mitsubishi
The aircraft was originally built by Bombardier as the CRJ705. However, with Bombardier’s assistance, Jazz reconfigured 16 of its CRJ705 aircraft into CRJ900s, with 76 seats, rather than the 75. The CRJ200, CRJ700, and CRJ900 families of aircraft all have avionics and cockpit systems commonality with one another, meaning that all models can be flown by the same pilot pool, which significantly reduces training costs.
Last June, Canadian manufacturer Bombardier confirmed the closing of the previously announced sale of the CRJ Series aircraft program to Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). This deal was a cash consideration of approximately $550 million. Under this sale, MHI acquires the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft, including the related services and support network located in Montréal, Québec, and Toronto, Ontario. The deal also sees CRJ service centers located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona go to MHI, as well as the relevant type certificates.
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