Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority has grounded Cessna 441 Conquests in the country that have exceeded 22,500 flying hours. The move followed the manufacturer announcing that it cannot assure the continued safety of the aircraft after 22,500h.

The grounding, which came into affect on 24 August, is believed to involve four to six aircraft in Australia out of a flying population of 34, says the authority.

The aircraft will be grounded for a year, during which time CASA says avenues will be explored that could extend the safe operation of the Conquest beyond the current life limit.

The 10-seat Conquest is typically used in Australia on charter flights, while a number are used in regular passenger transport operations resulting in a high number of flying hours.

Cessna imposed the life limit after reviewing its structural maintenance programme for the type. The manufacturer has determined that structural problems are likely to develop if the aircraft continues to operate after 22,500 flying hours.

A structural maintenance programme has been developed to manage the safety of the aircraft up to the 22,500 hours life limit, says CASA.

Source: Flight International