Australia grounds six Brindabella regional aircraft

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Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has ordered regional carrier Brindabella Airlines to conduct maintenance reviews on six aircraft, following a similar order covering four aircraft in November.

“The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has directed regional air carrier Brindabella Airlines to conduct maintenance reviews on another six of its aircraft,” CASA said in a statement.

“These aircraft may not be flown until the maintenance reviews are completed and CASA has given approval for their return to service.”

In November, CASA ordered that four of the carrier’s Jetstream aircraft be grounded for maintenance reviews. Brindabella has completed reviews on two of these aircraft and CASA has cleared them for a return to service.

In a telephone interview with Flightglobal, a CASA spokesman said that the authority grounded the initial four Jetstream aircraft, a mix of Jetstream 31s and 41s, on concerns that the aircraft’s engines had not been checked sufficiently.

CASA ordered an immediate review into the maintenance records and checks for these aircraft in the previous 12 months.

During the course of the review in the initial four aircraft, maintenance concerns were raised about six other aircraft, hence the most recent announcement. The maintenance concerns are not just related to the engines, but other parts of the aircraft as well, adds the spokesman.

“The latest direction, which takes effect from on Saturday 14 December 2013, ensures that any outstanding maintenance related issues have been addressed on all Brindabella aircraft,” says CASA.

CASA initially required the reviews on the four Jetstream aircraft after finding Brindabella had overrun engine inspections. Since then CASA has identified additional inspection and maintenance overruns, leading to the decision to require the six Jetstream and Metroliner additional aircraft to be reviewed.”

Flightglobal’s Ascend online database shows that Brindabella has 12 aircraft: three BAE Systems Jetstream 31s, four Jetstream 41s and five Fairchild Metros. The build years of its fleet range from 1982 to 1986.

Flightglobal Pro was unable to reach the airline for comment.

Brindabella operates daily direct flights connecting cities and towns in New South Wales and Queensland. Charter services and aerial tours are also offered. Sister company Aeropelican merged into Brindabella on 24 June 2013. The merged carrier has retained the Brindabella branding.