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An American Airlines Express Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Hundreds of American Flights Cancelled as PSA Regional Fleet Grounded

PSA Airlines has grounded the majority of its fleet as it works to carry out required nose gear door inspections. PSA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines and operates flights under the American Eagle banner. The grounding is related to a maintenance issue with the airline’s fleet. The airline currently operates 130 aircraft, all CRJ-700s and CRJ-900s.

In a statement to AirlineGeeks, the FAA said: “PSA Airlines removed a number of its Bombardier regional jets from service after discovering a maintenance item that required immediate attention. The airline voluntarily disclosed the matter to the FAA, and the agency is working with the airline to address the situation. Please contact the airline for more details.”

The grounding is likely to disrupt thousands of travelers and incur a large cost for American to rescue operations. PSA Airlines is already experiencing heavy flight cancellations at American’s Charlotte hub. American does have other regional carriers, wholly-owned Envoy Air and Piedmont Airlines.

In a statement to AirlineGeeks, a spokesperson for American Airlines said: “Out of an abundance of caution, PSA Airlines has temporarily removed most of its aircraft from service in order to complete a necessary, standard inspection on the nose gear door. We are working with PSA and the FAA to immediately address the issue. We are working with our customers to arrange new accommodations on other flights and we are working to return the impacted aircraft to service.”

In a tweet from the airline, PSA confirmed that most of their aircraft had been removed from service to complete an inspection.

The FAA last month issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) for the Bombardier Challenger series of aircraft due to excessive corrosion in the aircraft’s nose landing gear. The Bombardier Challenger is the business jet variant of the commercial CRJ series and shares many of the same parts.

In the AD, the FAA noted, “The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model BD-100-1A10 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that corrosion was found on the shock strut cylinders during unscheduled maintenance of the nose landing gear (NLG). This AD requires a modification of the NLG shock strut cylinder. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.”

The AD refers to Bd-100-1A10, also known as the Bombardier Challenger 300, the sister jet of the CRJ series jets.

This AD is not related to the CRJ jet groundings. In a statement to FlightGlobal, American Airlines added that “The issue is related to three nuts/bolts on the nose-gear doors.”

The grounding is likely to disrupt thousands of travelers and incur a large cost for American to rescue operations. PSA Airlines is already experiencing heavy flight cancellations at American’s Charlotte hub. American does have other regional carriers, wholly-owned Envoy Air and Piedmont Airlines.

Although travel is still significantly down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the weekend has typically higher passenger loads for airlines. Based on passenger counts from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), airlines see an additional 100,000 to 200,000 travelers on the weekend across the country.

The airline expects to begin the inspections soon and is planning to resume normal operations tomorrow.

PSA Airlines operates regional flights on the United States east coast from American’s hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. The airline normally operates around 800 flights a day for American to 91 destinations. The airline has been in operation since 1980 and was purchased by US Airways in 1995. It was given its current name to protect the PSA trademark that US Airways owned.

This story was corrected at 1:36 p.m. ET to note that PSA Airlines grounded its jets out of an abundance of caution.

This story was amended at 2:30 p.m. ET to add a statement provided by the FAA to AirlineGeeks.

Author

  • Daniel has always had aviation in his life; from moving to the United States when he was two, to family vacations across the U.S., and back to his native England. He currently resides in South Florida and attends Nova Southeastern University, studying Human Factors in Aviation. Daniel has his Commercial Certificate for both land and sea, and hopes to one day join the major airlines.

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