Regulators have grounded the GippsAero GA8 Skyvan following a 14 July crash of the type in Sweden that killed nine.
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand both suspended airworthiness certificates for the type on 20 July, one day after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive that restricted use of the type to ferry flights only.
“On 14 July 2019, a fatal accident occurred with a GA8 ‘Airvan’ aeroplane, during a flight where the purpose was to drop parachutists,” says the EASA directive.
“Indications are that the aeroplane, at 4,000 meters altitude, suffered structural failure. Early reports are that a wing may have detached from the aeroplane prior to the accident, but, at this time, the root cause of the accident cannot be confirmed.”
The CASA suspension runs to 3 August, and it has advised other regulators to impose a similar suspension. It says there are 63 example of the type in service in Australia, out of a global fleet of 223.
The New Zealand suspension affects 21 aircraft and will continuously reviewed as more details of the crash emerge.
GippsAero is a unit of Indian company Mahindra Aerospace. It is also developing the larger GA10 Airvan, which will be powered by the 451hp Rolls-Royce M250-B17F/2, while the GA8 is powered by a piston engine, the Textron Lycoming IO-540-K1A5.