MUMBAI: Australian aviation safety regulator CASA has temporarily grounded small aircraft GippsAero GA8 following the reported crash of one such plane in Sweden that killed nine persons last week.
There are 63 GA8 aircraft registered in Australia out of a worldwide fleet of 228, according to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
In 2008, Mahindra & Mahindra bought Australia's GippsAero, which makes the eight-seater single-engine GA8 Airvan.
"The temporary suspension (of GA8) will be for up to 15 days from midnight July 20 to midnight August 3 and affects all GA8 aircraft operating in Australia and all Australian registered GA8 aircraft operating overseas," CASA said in a notice on July 20.
The suspension follows a fatal GA8 aircraft accident on July 14 during a skydiving flight in Sweden, the regulator added.
CASA has temporarily suspended GA8 operations as a precautionary step pending the outcome of further investigation by Swedish and European authorities, it said.
In a statement to PTI, GippsAero said it is working with the Australian regulator (CASA) and the Swedish investigators. "As of now, there is nothing to indicate any defect with the aircraft and we await outcome of the investigation. We are grateful for all the support we are getting from our customers in these very exceptional circumstances and hope the issue will be resolved soon," it added.
CASA has also written to all national aviation authorities that have GA8 aircraft operating in their jurisdictions, advising them that it has imposed a 15-day temporary operating suspension on these aircraft.
In response to CASA temporarily suspending GA8 operations in Australia, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an emergency airworthiness directive to European GA8 aircraft owners and operators to not operate the aeroplane except for ferry flights, as per the notice.
The aircraft type was certified in 2000 by CASA for normal operations, which includes skydiving.