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Remaining MRJs cleared to resume flight tests

Mitsubishi Aircraft’s remaining three MRJ regional jet test aircraft have received regulatory approval to resume flight testing.

The manufacturer has been flying aircraft FTA-4 since 6 September, however FTA’s -1,-2 and -3 required approval from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau for them to return to the air.

Mitsubishi tells FlightGlobal that approval for those three aircraft was received on 11 September, and on the same day FTA-3 conducted a three-hour flight which was completed “without any incident.”

The full fleet is expected to be scheduled to resume flight testing on 12 September.

Mitsubishi suspended the flight test programme for the MRJ on August 21 following an uncommanded shutdown of the left Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engine on FTA-2 during a flight. That forced it to make an unscheduled landing at Portland International airport.

Following an engine change, the aircraft was ferried a week later back to its base at Moses Lake on 28 August.

The manufacturer is still in the final investigation of what caused the shutdown, but says that “current analysis tells us that the incident from August on FTA-2 is isolated and the rest of the MRJ flight test aircraft were inspected and cleared as they were not affected.”

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