CSeries flight testing suspended after engine failure

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Bombardier has suspended its CSeries flight test programme, following an engine failure late yesterday involving the first CSeries flight test aircraft.

"Bombardier is investigating the incident with the support of Pratt & Whitney and the appropriate authorities. Safety is the priority, and the CSeries aircraft flight test programme will resume once the investigation is completed," says the airframer. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada says the aircraft "experienced an engine failure during ground testing".

Bombardier says the incident took place during ground maintenance testing involving FTV-1 at its facility in Mirabel, Quebec. A Bombardier spokesman says the incident will not affect the entry into service of the CSeries, scheduled for the second half of 2015. "We are confident that we will be able to deliver the aircraft in that timeline," he adds.

It is not known how long the flight test programme will be suspended, says the spokesman.

The TSB has deployed an investigator to Mirabel to gather information, says the agency.

Pratt & Whitney, which supplies the PW1500G engines that power the CSeries, says it is "working closely with Bombardier to understand the incident" and declines to comment further.