Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority in late July suspended air operator certificates of two Sydney Bankstown airport-based charter operators, one of which suffered a fatal crash of a Piper Mojave close to the Australian general aviation airport in June.

The regulator took action against Skymaster Air Services and Avtex Air Services, which share ownership, as it felt continued operation while CASA completes further safety investigation poses "a serious and imminent risk to air safety".

There have been three serious accidents and a number of incidents involving Skymaster aircraft in the past three months, says CASA. The latest accident resulted in the death of the pilot and a nurse.

Other accidents include a wheels-up landing and a collapsed nose gear on landing, while incidents include a loss of engine power, fuel flow problems and landing gear malfunctions. CASA says its decision to suspend the certificates was based on issues relating to the safety culture of operations, aircraft maintenance control and pilot training.

Source: Flight International